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Sample records for affect plant establishment

  1. Plant trait expression responds to establishment timing.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Angela J; Leahy, S Conor; Zimmerman, Nicole M; Burns, Jean H

    2015-06-01

    Trait divergence between co-occurring individuals could decrease the strength of competition between these individuals, thus promoting their coexistence. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated establishment timing for four congeneric pairs of perennial plants and assessed trait plasticity. Because soil conditions can affect trait expression and competition, we grew the plants in field-collected soil from each congener. Competition was generally weak across species, but the order of establishment affected divergence in biomass between potmates for three congeneric pairs. The type of plastic response differed among genera, with trait means of early-establishing individuals of Rumex and Solanum spp. differing from late-establishing individuals, and trait divergence between potmates of Plantago and Trifolium spp. depending on which species established first. Consistent with adaptive trait plasticity, higher specific leaf area (SLA) and root-shoot ratio in Rumex spp. established later suggest that these individuals were maximizing their ability to capture light and soil resources. Greater divergence in SLA correlated with increased summed biomass of competitors, which is consistent with trait divergence moderating the strength of competition for some species. Species did not consistently perform better in conspecific or congener soil, but soil type influenced the effect of establishment order. For example, biomass divergence between Rumex potmates was greater in R. obtusifolius soil regardless of which species established first. These results suggest that plant responses to establishment timing act in a species-specific fashion, potentially enhancing coexistence in plant communities.

  2. Plant trait expression responds to establishment timing.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Angela J; Leahy, S Conor; Zimmerman, Nicole M; Burns, Jean H

    2015-06-01

    Trait divergence between co-occurring individuals could decrease the strength of competition between these individuals, thus promoting their coexistence. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated establishment timing for four congeneric pairs of perennial plants and assessed trait plasticity. Because soil conditions can affect trait expression and competition, we grew the plants in field-collected soil from each congener. Competition was generally weak across species, but the order of establishment affected divergence in biomass between potmates for three congeneric pairs. The type of plastic response differed among genera, with trait means of early-establishing individuals of Rumex and Solanum spp. differing from late-establishing individuals, and trait divergence between potmates of Plantago and Trifolium spp. depending on which species established first. Consistent with adaptive trait plasticity, higher specific leaf area (SLA) and root-shoot ratio in Rumex spp. established later suggest that these individuals were maximizing their ability to capture light and soil resources. Greater divergence in SLA correlated with increased summed biomass of competitors, which is consistent with trait divergence moderating the strength of competition for some species. Species did not consistently perform better in conspecific or congener soil, but soil type influenced the effect of establishment order. For example, biomass divergence between Rumex potmates was greater in R. obtusifolius soil regardless of which species established first. These results suggest that plant responses to establishment timing act in a species-specific fashion, potentially enhancing coexistence in plant communities. PMID:25616649

  3. Establishing Competence: Qualification of Power Plant Personnel.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Colin R.

    1992-01-01

    Discusses the International Atomic Energy Agency's definition of competence for nuclear power plant operations personnel, how competence can be identified with intellectual, physical, and psychological attributes, how levels of competence are determined, how education, training, and experience establish competence, objectives and costs of training…

  4. Establishing regulatory compliance in a new plant

    SciTech Connect

    Kinkela, J.F.

    1995-12-01

    Lenox China has built and started up two new plants in the past 10 years. Insightful project leadership assured that environmental concerns were addressed from the outset of each project. Some lessons have been learned from serendipity and, unfortunately, some from project oversights. Elements of these lessons also were applicable to major re-engineering of the 40-year-old Lenox China plant in Pomona, N.J., and to major process changes in all Lenox plants in a program of continuous improvement. It is conceptually easy to design a greenfield plant and its processes to minimize environmental impacts and incorporate waste minimization. The effect of this design process ripples through the design of the facility, equipment specifications, job descriptions and operations. There is an opportunity to set up the entire environmental future of the plant, i.e., to be proactive. Top management should craft an environmental policy for the plant to guide the design team. The design team, including an environmental expert, should determine the environmental concerns early in the process and open a dialog with appropriate regulatory agencies. Where wastes must be generated, an environmentally and economically sound-recycling program should be part of the design, including negotiations with the outside contractors who will transport and recycle the wastes. Many opportunities can be found to optimize all areas of plant design.

  5. Starch bioengineering affects cereal grain germination and seedling establishment

    PubMed Central

    Hebelstrup, Kim H.; Blennow, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Cereal grain germination is central for plant early development, and efficient germination has a major role in crop propagation and malting. Endosperm starch is the prime energy reserve in germination and seedling establishment. In this study, it was hypothesized that optimized starch granule structure, and not only the endosperm starch content per se, is important for germination and seedling establishment. For that purpose, wild-type (WT), and specifically engineered degradable hyperphosphorylated (HP) starch and more resistant amylose-only (AO) starch barley lines were used. The transgenics showed no severe phenotypes and the WT and HP lines degraded the starch similarly, having 30% residual starch after 12 d of germination. However, the AO line showed significant resistance to degradation, having 57% residual starch. Interestingly, protein and β-glucan (BG) degradation was stimulated for both HP and AO lines as compared with the WT. At late seedling establishment stages, specific sugars were rapidly consumed in the AO line. α-Amylase activity was distinctly suppressed in both the HP and the AO lines. Pre-germination β-amylase deposition was low in the AO grains and β-amylase was generally suppressed in both HP and AO lines throughout germination. As further supported by scanning electron microscopy and histochemical analyses on grain and seedlings, it was concluded that inadequate starch granule deposition in combination with the suppressed hydrolase activity leads to temporal and compensating re-direction of starch, sugar, and protein catabolism important to maintain metabolic dynamics during grain germination and seedling establishment. PMID:24642850

  6. Trichoderma secondary metabolites that affect plant metabolism.

    PubMed

    Vinale, Francesco; Sivasithamparam, Krishnapillai; Ghisalberti, Emilio L; Ruocco, Michelina; Wood, Sheridan; Lorito, Matteo

    2012-11-01

    Recently, there have been many exciting new developments relating to the use of Trichoderma spp. as agents for biocontrol of pathogens and as plant growth promoters. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the positive effects of these microorganisms on the plant host. One factor that contributes to their beneficial biological activities is related to the wide variety of metabolites that they produce. These metabolites have been found not only to directly inhibit the growth and pathogenic activities of the parasites, but also to increase disease resistance by triggering the system of defence in the plant host. In addition, these metabolites are also capable of enhancing plant growth, which enables the plant to counteract the disease with compensatory vegetative growth by the augmented production of root and shoot systems. This review takes into account the Trichoderma secondary metabolites that affect plant metabolism and that may play an important role in the complex interactions of this biocontrol agent with the plant and pathogens.

  7. Factors Affecting Ice Nucleation in Plant Tissues

    PubMed Central

    Ashworth, Edward N.; Davis, Glen A.; Anderson, Jeffrey A.

    1985-01-01

    Factors affecting the ice nucleation temperature of plants and plant tissues were examined. The mass of a sample had a marked effect on ice nucleation temperature. Small tissue samples supercooled to −10°C and were not accurate predictors of the nucleation temperature of intact plants in either laboratory or field experiments. This effect was not unique to plant tissues and was observed in autoclaved and control soil samples. Ice nucleation temperatures of bean, corn, cotton, and soybean seedlings were influenced by the length of subzero exposure, presence of ice nucleation active bacteria, and leaf surface wetness. The number of factors influencing ice nucleation temperature suggested that predicting the freezing behavior of plants in the field will be complex. PMID:16664524

  8. Earthworm-Mycorrhiza Interactions Can Affect the Diversity, Structure and Functioning of Establishing Model Grassland Communities

    PubMed Central

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Grabmaier, Andrea; Lichtenegger, Claudia; Piller, Katja; Allabashi, Roza; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Both earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important ecosystem engineers co-occurring in temperate grasslands. However, their combined impacts during grassland establishment are poorly understood and have never been studied. We used large mesocosms to study the effects of different functional groups of earthworms (i.e., vertically burrowing anecics vs. horizontally burrowing endogeics) and a mix of four AMF taxa on the establishment, diversity and productivity of plant communities after a simulated seed rain of 18 grassland species comprising grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Moreover, effects of earthworms and/or AMF on water infiltration and leaching of ammonium, nitrate and phosphate were determined after a simulated extreme rainfall event (40 l m−2). AMF colonisation of all three plant functional groups was altered by earthworms. Seedling emergence and diversity was reduced by anecic earthworms, however only when AMF were present. Plant density was decreased in AMF-free mesocosms when both anecic and endogeic earthworms were active; with AMF also anecics reduced plant density. Plant shoot and root biomass was only affected by earthworms in AMF-free mesocosms: shoot biomass increased due to the activity of either anecics or endogeics; root biomass increased only when anecics were active. Water infiltration increased when earthworms were present in the mesocosms but remained unaffected by AMF. Ammonium leaching was increased only when anecics or a mixed earthworm community was active but was unaffected by AMF; nitrate and phosphate leaching was neither affected by earthworms nor AMF. Ammonium leaching decreased with increasing plant density, nitrate leaching decreased with increasing plant diversity and density. In order to understand the underlying processes of these interactions further investigations possibly under field conditions using more diverse belowground communities are required. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that

  9. Factors affecting spruce establishment and recruitment near western treeline, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, A. E.; Sherriff, R.; Wilson, T. L.

    2015-12-01

    Regional warming and increases in tree growth are contributing to increased productivity near the western forest margin in Alaska. The effects of warming on seedling recruitment has received little attention, in spite of forecasted forest expansion near western treeline. Here, we used stand structure and environmental data from white spruce (Picea glauca) stands (n = 95) sampled across a longitudinal gradient to explore factors influencing white spruce growth, establishment and recruitment in southwest Alaska. Using tree-ring chronologies developed from a subset of the plots (n = 30), we estimated establishment dates and basal area increment (BAI) for trees of all age classes across a range of site conditions. We used GLMs (generalized linear models) to explore the relationship between tree growth and temperature in undisturbed, low elevation sites along the gradient, using BAI averaged over the years 1975-2000. In addition, we examined the relationship between growing degree days (GDD) and seedling establishment over the previous three decades. We used total counts of live seedlings, saplings and live and dead trees, representing four cohorts, to evaluate whether geospatial, climate, and measured plot covariates predicted abundance of the different size classes. We hypothesized that the relationship between abundance and longitude would vary by size class, and that this relationship would be mediated by growing season temperature. We found that mean BAI for trees in undisturbed, low elevation sites increased with July maximum temperature, and that the slope of the relationship with temperature changed with longitude (interaction significant with 90% confidence). White spruce establishment was positively associated with longer summers and/or greater heat accumulation, as inferred from GDD. Seedling, sapling and tree abundance were also positively correlated with temperature across the study area. The response to longitude was mixed, with smaller size classes

  10. ADP1 affects plant architecture by regulating local auxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruixi; Li, Jieru; Li, Shibai; Qin, Genji; Novák, Ondřej; Pěnčík, Aleš; Ljung, Karin; Aoyama, Takashi; Liu, Jingjing; Murphy, Angus; Gu, Hongya; Tsuge, Tomohiko; Qu, Li-Jia

    2014-01-01

    Plant architecture is one of the key factors that affect plant survival and productivity. Plant body structure is established through the iterative initiation and outgrowth of lateral organs, which are derived from the shoot apical meristem and root apical meristem, after embryogenesis. Here we report that ADP1, a putative MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion) transporter, plays an essential role in regulating lateral organ outgrowth, and thus in maintaining normal architecture of Arabidopsis. Elevated expression levels of ADP1 resulted in accelerated plant growth rate, and increased the numbers of axillary branches and flowers. Our molecular and genetic evidence demonstrated that the phenotypes of plants over-expressing ADP1 were caused by reduction of local auxin levels in the meristematic regions. We further discovered that this reduction was probably due to decreased levels of auxin biosynthesis in the local meristematic regions based on the measured reduction in IAA levels and the gene expression data. Simultaneous inactivation of ADP1 and its three closest homologs led to growth retardation, relative reduction of lateral organ number and slightly elevated auxin level. Our results indicated that ADP1-mediated regulation of the local auxin level in meristematic regions is an essential determinant for plant architecture maintenance by restraining the outgrowth of lateral organs. PMID:24391508

  11. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment.

    PubMed

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly; Kostenko, Olga; Van der Putten, Wim H; Macel, Mirka

    2016-02-01

    Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during this early stage of plant community development. Effects of herbivores on plant biomass depended on plant species or genus but not on plant status (i.e., exotic vs native). Thus, aboveground herbivory did not promote the dominance of exotic plant species during early establishment of the phylogenetically balanced plant communities. PMID:26481795

  12. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment.

    PubMed

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly; Kostenko, Olga; Van der Putten, Wim H; Macel, Mirka

    2016-02-01

    Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during this early stage of plant community development. Effects of herbivores on plant biomass depended on plant species or genus but not on plant status (i.e., exotic vs native). Thus, aboveground herbivory did not promote the dominance of exotic plant species during early establishment of the phylogenetically balanced plant communities.

  13. Between-Population Outbreeding Affects Plant Defence

    PubMed Central

    Leimu, Roosa; Fischer, Markus

    2010-01-01

    Between-population crosses may replenish genetic variation of populations, but may also result in outbreeding depression. Apart from direct effects on plant fitness, these outbreeding effects can also alter plant-herbivore interactions by influencing plant tolerance and resistance to herbivory. We investigated effects of experimental within- and between-population outbreeding on herbivore resistance, tolerance and plant fitness using plants from 13 to 19 Lychnis flos-cuculi populations. We found no evidence for outbreeding depression in resistance reflected by the amount of leaf area consumed. However, herbivore performance was greater when fed on plants from between-population compared to within-population crosses. This can reflect outbreeding depression in resistance and/or outbreeding effects on plant quality for the herbivores. The effects of type of cross on the relationship between herbivore damage and plant fitness varied among populations. This demonstrates how between-population outbreeding effects on tolerance range from outbreeding depression to outbreeding benefits among plant populations. Finally, herbivore damage strengthened the observed outbreeding effects on plant fitness in several populations. These results raise novel considerations on the impact of outbreeding on the joint evolution of resistance and tolerance, and on the evolution of multiple defence strategies. PMID:20838662

  14. Kin recognition affects plant communication and defence.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Shiojiri, Kaori; Ishizaki, Satomi; Wetzel, William C; Evans, Richard Y

    2013-04-01

    The ability of many animals to recognize kin has allowed them to evolve diverse cooperative behaviours; such ability is less well studied for plants. Many plants, including Artemisia tridentata, have been found to respond to volatile cues emitted by experimentally wounded neighbours to increase levels of resistance to herbivory. We report that this communication was more effective among A. tridentata plants that were more closely related based on microsatellite markers. Plants in the field that received cues from experimentally clipped close relatives experienced less leaf herbivory over the growing season than those that received cues from clipped neighbours that were more distantly related. These results indicate that plants can respond differently to cues from kin, making it less likely that emitters will aid strangers and making it more likely that receivers will respond to cues from relatives. More effective defence adds to a growing list of favourable consequences of kin recognition for plants.

  15. Methods of affecting nitrogen assimilation in plants

    DOEpatents

    Coruzzi, Gloria; Gutierrez, Rodrigo A.; Nero, Damion C.

    2016-10-11

    Provided herein are compositions and methods for producing transgenic plants. In specific embodiments, transgenic plants comprise a construct comprising a polynucleotide encoding CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1, operably linked to a plant-specific promote, wherein the CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1 is ectopically overexpressed in the transgenic plants, and wherein the promoter is optionally a constitutive or inducible promoter. In other embodiments, transgenic plants in which express a lower level of CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1 are provided. Also provided herein are commercial products (e.g., pulp, paper, paper products, or lumber) derived from the transgenic plants (e.g., transgenic trees) produced using the methods provided herein.

  16. On-plant selection and genetic analysis of European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) behavioral traits: plant abandonment versus plant establishment.

    PubMed

    Rausch, Michael A; Kroemer, Jeremy A; Gassmann, Aaron J; Hellmich, Richard L

    2014-10-01

    Although some studies have investigated how insect behavior could influence resistance evolution to transgenic plants, none have determined if behavioral traits respond to selection pressure and how they may be inherited. We investigated plant establishment and abandonment traits for the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalisi (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), by conducting a laboratory selection experiment and quantifying patterns of gene expression. Egg masses with emerging larvae were placed on maize plants and silking individuals were collected every 15 min during a 4-h period to generate a plant abandonment (PA) colony. Plants were dissected 24-72 h later, and larvae were collected for a plant establishment colony. Selection of the PA colony showed an increased propensity to abandon the host plant by the third generation. The propensity for larvae to establish on the plants, however, did not show a significant response until the sixth generation. Quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to determine expression profiles for behavior associated genes (foraging and Onslmo). Egg samples from the two selected colonies and nonselected laboratory colony were collected at 0, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h after egg deposition, and first instars were sampled after exposure to maize tissue. Compared with the plant establishment and nonselected laboratory colonies at the 0-h time period, foraging and Onslmo showed higher expression in the PA colony. This is the first study that has specifically selected for these traits over several generations and analyzed behavior-associated genes to elucidate genetic changes.

  17. Plant Hormones: How They Affect Root Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinhard, Diana Hereda

    This science study aid, produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, includes a series of plant rooting activities for secondary science classes. The material in the pamphlet is written for students and includes background information on plant hormones, a vocabulary list, and five learning activities. Objectives, needed materials, and…

  18. Bacterial community changes during plant establishment at the San Pedro River mine tailings site.

    PubMed

    Rosario, Karyna; Iverson, Sadie L; Henderson, David A; Chartrand, Shawna; McKeon, Casey; Glenn, Edward P; Maier, Raina M

    2007-01-01

    Mine tailings are moderately to severely impacted sites that lack normal plant cover, soil structure and development, and the associated microbial community. In arid and semiarid environments, tailings and their associated contaminants are prone to eolian dispersion and water erosion, thus becoming sources of metal contamination. One approach to minimize or eliminate these processes is to establish a permanent vegetation cover on tailings piles. Here we report a revegetation trial conducted at a moderately impacted mine tailings site in southern Arizona. A salt and drought-tolerant plant, four-wing saltbush [Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt.], was chosen for the trial. A series of 3 by 3 m plots were established in quadruplicate on the test site to evaluate growth of four-wing saltbush transplants alone or with compost addition. Results show that >80% of the transplanted saltbush survived after 1.5 yr in both treatments. Enumeration of heterotrophs and community structure analysis were conducted to monitor bacterial community changes during plant establishment as an indicator of plant and soil health. The bacterial community was evaluated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of 16S rDNA PCR gene products from tailings samples taken beneath transplant canopies. Significant differences in heterotrophic counts and community composition were observed between the two treatments and unplanted controls throughout the trial, but treatment effects were not observed. The results suggest that compost is not necessary for plant establishment at this site and that plants, rather than added compost, is the primary factor enhancing bacterial heterotrophic counts and affecting community composition.

  19. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants.

    PubMed

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes. PMID:27445173

  20. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    PubMed Central

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes. PMID:27445173

  1. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-07-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes.

  2. Functional analysis of the newly established plants induced by nesting gulls on Riou archipelago (Marseille, France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidal, Eric; Médail, Frédéric; Tatoni, Thierry; Vidal, Patrick; Roche, Philip

    1998-06-01

    The recent population explosion of Yellow-legged gulls ( Larus cachinnans), nesting on the Riou archipelago, off Marseille (France), has perturbed the flora and the vegetation of this site. The present study consists of a functional approach to the newly established plant species through an analysis of some of their vital attributes. Small islets appear to be more affected by floristic turnover than larger islands. In some cases, more than 50 % of the current flora was not present 35 years ago. The newly established taxa show special adaptations to the severe ecological pressure induced by gull colonies and to the characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. These plant species are mostly therophytes or hemicryptophytes and have a ruderal or a stress-tolerant strategy. Gulls' contribution to propagule dispersal from the continent appears to be very slight, dispersal by wind being the prevalent mode.

  3. On-plant selection and genetic analysis of European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) behavioral traits: plant abandonment versus plant establishment.

    PubMed

    Rausch, Michael A; Kroemer, Jeremy A; Gassmann, Aaron J; Hellmich, Richard L

    2014-10-01

    Although some studies have investigated how insect behavior could influence resistance evolution to transgenic plants, none have determined if behavioral traits respond to selection pressure and how they may be inherited. We investigated plant establishment and abandonment traits for the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalisi (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), by conducting a laboratory selection experiment and quantifying patterns of gene expression. Egg masses with emerging larvae were placed on maize plants and silking individuals were collected every 15 min during a 4-h period to generate a plant abandonment (PA) colony. Plants were dissected 24-72 h later, and larvae were collected for a plant establishment colony. Selection of the PA colony showed an increased propensity to abandon the host plant by the third generation. The propensity for larvae to establish on the plants, however, did not show a significant response until the sixth generation. Quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to determine expression profiles for behavior associated genes (foraging and Onslmo). Egg samples from the two selected colonies and nonselected laboratory colony were collected at 0, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h after egg deposition, and first instars were sampled after exposure to maize tissue. Compared with the plant establishment and nonselected laboratory colonies at the 0-h time period, foraging and Onslmo showed higher expression in the PA colony. This is the first study that has specifically selected for these traits over several generations and analyzed behavior-associated genes to elucidate genetic changes. PMID:25203864

  4. 29 CFR 779.267 - Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise coverage and establishment exemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise... Employment to Which the Act May Apply; Enterprise Coverage Computing the Annual Volume § 779.267 Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise coverage and establishment exemptions. It is...

  5. 29 CFR 779.267 - Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise coverage and establishment exemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise... Employment to Which the Act May Apply; Enterprise Coverage Computing the Annual Volume § 779.267 Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise coverage and establishment exemptions. It is...

  6. 29 CFR 779.267 - Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise coverage and establishment exemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise... Employment to Which the Act May Apply; Enterprise Coverage Computing the Annual Volume § 779.267 Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise coverage and establishment exemptions. It is...

  7. 29 CFR 779.267 - Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise coverage and establishment exemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise... Employment to Which the Act May Apply; Enterprise Coverage Computing the Annual Volume § 779.267 Fluctuations in annual gross volume affecting enterprise coverage and establishment exemptions. It is...

  8. Polarity establishment, morphogenesis, and cultured plant cells in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krikorian, Abraham D.

    1989-01-01

    Plant development entails an orderly progression of cellular events both in terms of time and geometry. There is only circumstantial evidence that, in the controlled environment of the higher plant embryo sac, gravity may play a role in embryo development. It is still not known whether or not normal embryo development and differentiation in higher plants can be expected to take place reliably and efficiently in the micro g space environment. It seems essential that more attention be given to studying aspects of reproductive biology in order to be confident that plants will survive seed to seed to seed in a space environment. Until the time arrives when successive generations of plants can be grown, the best that can be done is utilize the most appropriate systems and begin, piece meal, to accumulate information on important aspects of plant reproduction. Cultured plant cells can play an important role in these activities since they can be grown so as to be morphogenetically competent, and thus can simulate those embryogenic events more usually identified with fertilized eggs in the embryo sac of the ovule in the ovary. Also, they can be manipulated with relative ease. The extreme plasticity of such demonstrably totipotent cell systems provides a means to test environmental effects such as micro g on a potentially free-running entity. The successful manipulation and management of plant cells and propagules in space also has significance for exploitation of biotechnologies in space since such systems, perforce, are an important vehicle whereby many genetic engineering manipulations are achieved.

  9. Ordovician ash geochemistry and the establishment of land plants.

    PubMed

    Parnell, John; Foster, Sorcha

    2012-08-28

    The colonization of the terrestrial environment by land plants transformed the planetary surface and its biota, and shifted the balance of Earth's biomass from the subsurface towards the surface. However there was a long delay between the formation of palaeosols (soils) on the land surface and the key stage of plant colonization. The record of palaeosols, and their colonization by fungi and lichens extends well back into the Precambrian. While these early soils provided a potential substrate, they were generally leached of nutrients as part of the weathering process. In contrast, volcanic ash falls provide a geochemically favourable substrate that is both nutrient-rich and has high water retention, making them good hosts to land plants. An anomalously extensive system of volcanic arcs generated unprecedented volumes of lava and volcanic ash (tuff) during the Ordovician. The earliest, mid-Ordovician, records of plant spores coincide with these widespread volcanic deposits, suggesting the possibility of a genetic relationship. The ash constituted a global environment of nutrient-laden, water-saturated soil that could be exploited to maximum advantage by the evolving anchoring systems of land plants. The rapid and pervasive inoculation of modern volcanic ash by plant spores, and symbiotic nitrogen-fixing fungi, suggests that the Ordovician ash must have received a substantial load of the earliest spores and their chemistry favoured plant development. In particular, high phosphorus levels in ash were favourable to plant growth. This may have allowed photosynthesizers to diversify and enlarge, and transform the surface of the planet.

  10. Ordovician ash geochemistry and the establishment of land plants.

    PubMed

    Parnell, John; Foster, Sorcha

    2012-01-01

    The colonization of the terrestrial environment by land plants transformed the planetary surface and its biota, and shifted the balance of Earth's biomass from the subsurface towards the surface. However there was a long delay between the formation of palaeosols (soils) on the land surface and the key stage of plant colonization. The record of palaeosols, and their colonization by fungi and lichens extends well back into the Precambrian. While these early soils provided a potential substrate, they were generally leached of nutrients as part of the weathering process. In contrast, volcanic ash falls provide a geochemically favourable substrate that is both nutrient-rich and has high water retention, making them good hosts to land plants. An anomalously extensive system of volcanic arcs generated unprecedented volumes of lava and volcanic ash (tuff) during the Ordovician. The earliest, mid-Ordovician, records of plant spores coincide with these widespread volcanic deposits, suggesting the possibility of a genetic relationship. The ash constituted a global environment of nutrient-laden, water-saturated soil that could be exploited to maximum advantage by the evolving anchoring systems of land plants. The rapid and pervasive inoculation of modern volcanic ash by plant spores, and symbiotic nitrogen-fixing fungi, suggests that the Ordovician ash must have received a substantial load of the earliest spores and their chemistry favoured plant development. In particular, high phosphorus levels in ash were favourable to plant growth. This may have allowed photosynthesizers to diversify and enlarge, and transform the surface of the planet. PMID:22925460

  11. Ordovician ash geochemistry and the establishment of land plants

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The colonization of the terrestrial environment by land plants transformed the planetary surface and its biota, and shifted the balance of Earth’s biomass from the subsurface towards the surface. However there was a long delay between the formation of palaeosols (soils) on the land surface and the key stage of plant colonization. The record of palaeosols, and their colonization by fungi and lichens extends well back into the Precambrian. While these early soils provided a potential substrate, they were generally leached of nutrients as part of the weathering process. In contrast, volcanic ash falls provide a geochemically favourable substrate that is both nutrient-rich and has high water retention, making them good hosts to land plants. An anomalously extensive system of volcanic arcs generated unprecedented volumes of lava and volcanic ash (tuff) during the Ordovician. The earliest, mid-Ordovician, records of plant spores coincide with these widespread volcanic deposits, suggesting the possibility of a genetic relationship. The ash constituted a global environment of nutrient-laden, water-saturated soil that could be exploited to maximum advantage by the evolving anchoring systems of land plants. The rapid and pervasive inoculation of modern volcanic ash by plant spores, and symbiotic nitrogen-fixing fungi, suggests that the Ordovician ash must have received a substantial load of the earliest spores and their chemistry favoured plant development. In particular, high phosphorus levels in ash were favourable to plant growth. This may have allowed photosynthesizers to diversify and enlarge, and transform the surface of the planet. PMID:22925460

  12. 78 FR 1825 - Notice of Establishment of an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Stakeholder Registry

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-09

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Notice of Establishment of an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Stakeholder Registry AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION..., Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. BILLING CODE 3410-34-P...

  13. Managing Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in Established Red Raspberry Fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The efficacy and phytotoxicity of post-plant treatments to control root lesion [Pratylenchus penetrans (Cobb), Chitwood & Otiefa] and dagger (Xiphinema bakeri Williams) nematodes in red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) were evaluated in four field studies conducted over three years. Spring spray applicat...

  14. Habitats as complex odour environments: how does plant diversity affect herbivore and parasitoid orientation?

    PubMed

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant) location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts. PMID:24416354

  15. Habitats as Complex Odour Environments: How Does Plant Diversity Affect Herbivore and Parasitoid Orientation?

    PubMed Central

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant) location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts. PMID:24416354

  16. Salinity and Alkaline pH in Irrigation Water Affect Marigold Plants: II. Mineral Ion Relations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scarcity of water of good quality for landscape irrigation is of outmost importance in arid and semiarid regions due to the competition with urban population. This is forcing the use of degraded waters with high levels of salinity and high pH, which may affect plant establishment and growth. The o...

  17. 76 FR 31171 - Importation of Plants for Planting; Establishing a Category of Plants for Planting Not Authorized...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-27

    ... May 27, 2011 Part III Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part... / Friday, May 27, 2011 / Rules and Regulations#0;#0; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health... Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations...

  18. Establishing the Architecture of Plant Gene Regulatory Networks.

    PubMed

    Yang, F; Ouma, W Z; Li, W; Doseff, A I; Grotewold, E

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory grids (GRGs) encompass the space of all the possible transcription factor (TF)-target gene interactions that regulate gene expression, with gene regulatory networks (GRNs) representing a temporal and spatial manifestation of a portion of the GRG, essential for the specification of gene expression. Thus, understanding GRG architecture provides a valuable tool to explain how genes are expressed in an organism, an important aspect of synthetic biology and essential toward the development of the "in silico" cell. Progress has been made in some unicellular model systems (eg, yeast), but significant challenges remain in more complex multicellular organisms such as plants. Key to understanding the organization of GRGs is therefore identifying the genes that TFs bind to, and control. The application of sensitive and high-throughput methods to investigate genome-wide TF-target gene interactions is providing a wealth of information that can be linked to important agronomic traits. We describe here the methods and resources that have been developed to investigate the architecture of plant GRGs and GRNs. We also provide information regarding where to obtain clones or other resources necessary for synthetic biology or metabolic engineering. PMID:27480690

  19. Factors affecting establishment success of the endangered Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Rojas-Sandoval, Julissa; Meléndez-Ackerman, Elvia

    2012-06-01

    Early plant stages may be the most vulnerable within the life cycle of plants especially in arid ecosystems. Interference from exotic species may exacerbate this condition. We evaluated germination, seedling survival and growth in the endangered Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis, as a function of sunlight exposure (i.e., growing under open and shaded areas), different shade providers (i.e., growing under two native shrubs and one exotic grass species), two levels of predation (i.e., exclusion and non-exclusion) and variable microenvironmental conditions (i.e., temperature, PAR, humidity). Field experiments demonstrated that suitable conditions for germination and establishment of H. portoricensis seedling are optimal in shaded areas beneath the canopy of established species, but experiments also demonstrated that the identity of the shade provider can have a significant influence on the outcome of these processes. Harrisia portoricensis seedlings had higher probabilities of survival and grew better (i.e., larger diameters) when they were transplanted beneath the canopy of native shrubs, than beneath the exotic grass species, where temperature and solar radiation values were on average much higher than those obtained under the canopies of native shrubs. We also detected that exclusion from potential predators did not increase seedling survival. Our combined results for H. portoricensis suggested that the modification of microenvironmental conditions by the exotic grass may lower the probability of recruitment and establishment of this endangered cactus species.

  20. The role of plant-microbiome interactions in weed establishment and control.

    PubMed

    Trognitz, Friederike; Hackl, Evelyn; Widhalm, Siegrid; Sessitsch, Angela

    2016-10-01

    The soil microbiome plays an important role in the establishment of weeds and invasive plants. They associate with microorganisms supporting their growth and health. Weed management strategies, like tillage and herbicide treatments, to control weeds generally alter soil structure going alongside with changes in the microbial community. Once a weed population establishes in the field, the plants build up a close relationship with the available microorganisms. Seeds or vegetative organs overwinter in soil and select early in the season their own microbiome before crop plants start to vegetate. Weed and crop plants compete for light, nutrition and water, but may differently interact with soil microorganisms. The development of new sequencing technologies for analyzing soil microbiomes has opened up the possibility for in depth analysis of the interaction between 'undesired' plants and crop plants under different management systems. These findings will help us to understand the functions of microorganisms involved in crop productivity and plant health, weed establishment and weed prevention. Exploitation of the knowledge offers the possibility to search for new biocontrol methods against weeds based on soil and plant-associated microorganisms. This review discusses the recent advances in understanding the functions of microbial communities for weed/invasive plant establishment and shows new ways to use plant-associated microorganisms to control weeds and invasive plants in different land management systems.

  1. The role of plant-microbiome interactions in weed establishment and control.

    PubMed

    Trognitz, Friederike; Hackl, Evelyn; Widhalm, Siegrid; Sessitsch, Angela

    2016-10-01

    The soil microbiome plays an important role in the establishment of weeds and invasive plants. They associate with microorganisms supporting their growth and health. Weed management strategies, like tillage and herbicide treatments, to control weeds generally alter soil structure going alongside with changes in the microbial community. Once a weed population establishes in the field, the plants build up a close relationship with the available microorganisms. Seeds or vegetative organs overwinter in soil and select early in the season their own microbiome before crop plants start to vegetate. Weed and crop plants compete for light, nutrition and water, but may differently interact with soil microorganisms. The development of new sequencing technologies for analyzing soil microbiomes has opened up the possibility for in depth analysis of the interaction between 'undesired' plants and crop plants under different management systems. These findings will help us to understand the functions of microorganisms involved in crop productivity and plant health, weed establishment and weed prevention. Exploitation of the knowledge offers the possibility to search for new biocontrol methods against weeds based on soil and plant-associated microorganisms. This review discusses the recent advances in understanding the functions of microbial communities for weed/invasive plant establishment and shows new ways to use plant-associated microorganisms to control weeds and invasive plants in different land management systems. PMID:27387910

  2. Remediation and restoration of contaminated soils for plant growth and establishment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Vanessa

    2014-05-01

    Degradation and contamination of soils is a serious issue, affecting soil and water quality, human health, and plant health and productivity. Degradation of soils can result in the mobilisation of high concentrations of trace metals as a function of both anthropogenic activities which can also be exacerbated by natural processes. Sulfidic sediments frequently underlie coastal floodplains globally. Oxidation of sulfidic sediments can result in the formation of acid sulfate soils and acidification and mobilisation of associated trace metals in soils, sediments and water. The geochemical processes which occur in these environments can be similar to those in acid mine drainage environments. For example, oxidation of sulfides following surface mining for coal can also result in low pH and high concentrations of trace metals in waste material. Remediation and restoration of such sites for plant growth and establishment can be challenging due to the geochemical characteristics of the soils and sediments. Remediation of oxidised sulfidic sediments on coastal floodplains and mine sites both require an increase in soil pH via incorporation of alkaline materials, and addition of nutrients via organic amendments. This paper presents the findings from two case studies on the remediation of contaminated acidic environments on i) a coastal floodplain, and ii) a coal mine site. We found that addition of lime and organic material increased pH and decreased trace metal concentrations in the coastal floodplain sediments. Organic carbon increased due to the incorporation of additional organic material and increased plant growth. Similarly, pH decreased and trace metal concentrations in leachate also decreased following additions of alkaline wood chip waste and compost in the mine site rehabilitation trials. Plant growth increased with increasing volumes of compost addition. These results, and those presented in SSS8.3 highlight the importance of appropriate ameliorants in the

  3. Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes.

    SciTech Connect

    Tewksbury, Joshua, J.; Levey, Douglas, J.; Haddad, Nick, M.; Sargent, Sarah; Orrock, John, L.; Weldon, Aimee; Danielson, Brent, J.; Brinkerhoff, Jory; Damschen, Ellen, I.; Townsend, Patricia

    2002-10-01

    Tewksbury, J.J., D.J. Levey, N.M. Haddad, S. Sargent, J.L. Orrock, A. Weldon, B.J. Danielson, J. Brinkerhoff, E.I. Damschen, and P. Townsend. 2002. Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes. PNAS 99(20):12923-12926. Among the most popular strategies for maintaining populations of both plants and animals in fragmented landscapes is to connect isolated patches with thin strips of habitat, called corridors. Corridors are thought to increase the exchange of individuals between habitat patches, promoting genetic exchange and reducing population fluctuations. Empirical studies addressing the effects of corridors have either been small in scale or have ignored confounding effects of increased habitat area created by the presence of a corridor. These methodological difficulties, coupled with a paucity of studies examining the effects of corridors on plants and plant-animal interactions, have sparked debate over the purported value of corridors in conservation planning. We report results of a large-scale experiment that directly address this debate. We demonstrate that corridors not only increase the exchange of animals between patches, but also facilitate two key plant-animal interactions: pollination and seed dispersal. Our results show that the beneficial effects of corridors extend beyond the area they add, and suggest that increased plant and animal movement through corridors will have positive impacts on plant populations and community interactions in fragmented landscapes.

  4. Propagule Pressure, Habitat Conditions and Clonal Integration Influence the Establishment and Growth of an Invasive Clonal Plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides

    PubMed Central

    You, Wen-Hua; Han, Cui-Min; Fang, Long-Xiang; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, spreading mainly by vegetative propagules. Propagule pressure (the number of propagules) may affect the establishment, growth, and thus invasion success of these clonal plants, and such effects may also depend on habitat conditions. To understand how propagule pressure, habitat conditions and clonal integration affect the establishment and growth of the invasive clonal plants, an 8-week greenhouse with an invasive clonal plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides was conducted. High (five fragments) or low (one fragment) propagule pressure was established either in bare soil (open habitat) or dense native vegetation of Jussiaea repens (vegetative habitat), with the stolon connections either severed from or connected to the relatively older ramets. High propagule pressure greatly increased the establishment and growth of A. philoxeroides, especially when it grew in vegetative habitats. Surprisingly, high propagule pressure significantly reduced the growth of individual plants of A. philoxeroides in open habitats, whereas it did not affect the individual growth in vegetative habitats. A shift in the intraspecific interaction on A. philoxeroides from competition in open habitats to facilitation in vegetative habitats may be the main reason. Moreover, clonal integration significantly improved the growth of A. philoxeroides only in open habitats, especially with low propagule pressure, whereas it had no effects on the growth and competitive ability of A. philoxeroides in vegetative habitats, suggesting that clonal integration may be of most important for A. philoxeroides to explore new open space and spread. These findings suggest that propagule pressure may be crucial for the invasion success of A. philoxeroides, and such an effect also depends on habitat conditions. PMID:27200041

  5. Propagule Pressure, Habitat Conditions and Clonal Integration Influence the Establishment and Growth of an Invasive Clonal Plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides.

    PubMed

    You, Wen-Hua; Han, Cui-Min; Fang, Long-Xiang; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, spreading mainly by vegetative propagules. Propagule pressure (the number of propagules) may affect the establishment, growth, and thus invasion success of these clonal plants, and such effects may also depend on habitat conditions. To understand how propagule pressure, habitat conditions and clonal integration affect the establishment and growth of the invasive clonal plants, an 8-week greenhouse with an invasive clonal plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides was conducted. High (five fragments) or low (one fragment) propagule pressure was established either in bare soil (open habitat) or dense native vegetation of Jussiaea repens (vegetative habitat), with the stolon connections either severed from or connected to the relatively older ramets. High propagule pressure greatly increased the establishment and growth of A. philoxeroides, especially when it grew in vegetative habitats. Surprisingly, high propagule pressure significantly reduced the growth of individual plants of A. philoxeroides in open habitats, whereas it did not affect the individual growth in vegetative habitats. A shift in the intraspecific interaction on A. philoxeroides from competition in open habitats to facilitation in vegetative habitats may be the main reason. Moreover, clonal integration significantly improved the growth of A. philoxeroides only in open habitats, especially with low propagule pressure, whereas it had no effects on the growth and competitive ability of A. philoxeroides in vegetative habitats, suggesting that clonal integration may be of most important for A. philoxeroides to explore new open space and spread. These findings suggest that propagule pressure may be crucial for the invasion success of A. philoxeroides, and such an effect also depends on habitat conditions. PMID:27200041

  6. Fuel breaks affect nonnative species abundance in Californian plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriam, K.E.; Keeley, J.E.; Beyers, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the abundance of nonnative plants on fuel breaks and in adjacent untreated areas to determine if fuel treatments promote the invasion of nonnative plant species. Understanding the relationship between fuel treatments and nonnative plants is becoming increasingly important as federal and state agencies are currently implementing large fuel treatment programs throughout the United States to reduce the threat of wildland fire. Our study included 24 fuel breaks located across the State of California. We found that nonnative plant abundance was over 200% higher on fuel breaks than in adjacent wildland areas. Relative nonnative cover was greater on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers (28%) than on fuel breaks constructed by other methods (7%). Canopy cover, litter cover, and duff depth also were significantly lower on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers, and these fuel breaks had significantly more exposed bare ground than other types of fuel breaks. There was a significant decline in relative nonnative cover with increasing distance from the fuel break, particularly in areas that had experienced more numerous fires during the past 50 years, and in areas that had been grazed. These data suggest that fuel breaks could provide establishment sites for nonnative plants, and that nonnatives may invade surrounding areas, especially after disturbances such as fire or grazing. Fuel break construction and maintenance methods that leave some overstory canopy and minimize exposure of bare ground may be less likely to promote nonnative plants. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  7. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability.

  8. The establishment of the infant intestinal microbiome is not affected by rotavirus vaccination

    PubMed Central

    Ang, Li; Arboleya, Silvia; Lihua, Guo; Chuihui, Yuan; Nan, Qin; Suarez, Marta; Solís, Gonzalo; de los Reyes-Gavilán, Clara G.; Gueimonde, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    The microbial colonization of the intestine during the first months of life constitutes the most important process for the microbiota-induced host-homeostasis. Alterations in this process may entail a high-risk for disease in later life. However, the potential factors affecting this process in the infant are not well known. Moreover, the potential impact of orally administered vaccines upon the establishing microbiome remains unknown. Here we assessed the intestinal microbiome establishment process and evaluated the impact of rotavirus vaccination upon this process. Metagenomic, PCR-DGGE and faecal short chain fatty acids analyses were performed on faecal samples obtained from three infants before and after the administration of each dose of vaccine. We found a high inter-individual variability in the early life gut microbiota at microbial composition level, but a large similarity between the infants' microbiomes at functional level. Rotavirus vaccination did not show any major effects upon the infant gut microbiota. Thus, the individual microbiome establishment and development process seems to occur in a defined manner during the first stages of life and rotavirus vaccination appears to be inconsequential for this process. PMID:25491920

  9. Crop size, plant aggregation, and microhabitat type affect fruit removal by birds from individual melastome plants in the Upper Amazon.

    PubMed

    Blendinger, Pedro G; Loiselle, Bette A; Blake, John G

    2008-11-01

    We studied the efficiency (proportion of the crop removed) and quantitative effectiveness (number of fruits removed) of dispersal of Miconia fosteri and M. serrulata (Melastomataceae) seeds by birds in lowland tropical wet forest of Ecuador. Specifically, we examined variation in fruit removal in order to reveal the spatial scale at which crop size influences seed dispersal outcome of individual plants, and to evaluate how the effect of crop size on plant dispersal success may be affected by conspecific fruit abundance and by the spatial distribution of frugivore abundance. We established two 9-ha plots in undisturbed terra-firme understory, where six manakin species (Pipridae) disperse most seeds of these two plant species. Mean levels of fruit removal were low for both species, with high variability among plants. In general, plants with larger crop sizes experienced greater efficiency and effectiveness of fruit removal than plants with smaller crops. Fruit removal, however, was also influenced by microhabitat, such as local topography and local neighborhood. Fruit-rich and disperser-rich patches overlapped spatially for M. fosteri but not M. serrulata, nonetheless fruit removal of M. serrulata was still much greater in fruit-rich patches. Fruit removal from individual plants did not decrease in patches with many fruiting conspecifics and, in fact, removal effectiveness was enhanced for M. fosteri with small crop sizes when such plants were in patches with more conspecifics. These results suggest that benefits of attracting dispersers to a patch balanced or outweighed the costs of competition for dispersers. Spatial pattern of fruit removal, a measure of plant fitness, depended on a complex interaction among plant traits, spatial patterns of plant distribution, and disperser behavior. PMID:18810498

  10. A tool to assess potential for alien plant establishment and expansion under climate change.

    PubMed

    Roger, Erin; Duursma, Daisy Englert; Downey, Paul O; Gallagher, Rachael V; Hughes, Lesley; Steel, Jackie; Johnson, Stephen B; Leishman, Michelle R

    2015-08-15

    Predicting the influence of climate change on the potential distribution of naturalised alien plant species is an important and challenging task. While prioritisation of management actions for alien plants under current climatic conditions has been widely adopted, very few systems explicitly incorporate the potential of future changes in climate conditions to influence the distribution of alien plant species. Here, we develop an Australia-wide screening tool to assess the potential of naturalised alien plants to establish and spread under both current and future climatic conditions. The screening tool developed uses five spatially explicit criteria to establish the likelihood of alien plant population establishment and expansion under baseline climate conditions and future climates for the decades 2035 and 2065. Alien plants are then given a threat rating according to current and future threat to enable natural resource managers to focus on those species that pose the largest potential threat now and in the future. To demonstrate the screening tool, we present results for a representative sample of approximately 10% (n = 292) of Australia's known, naturalised alien plant species. Overall, most alien plant species showed decreases in area of habitat suitability under future conditions compared to current conditions and therefore the threat rating of most alien plant species declined between current and future conditions. Use of the screening tool is intended to assist natural resource managers in assessing the threat of alien plant establishment and spread under current and future conditions and thus prioritise detailed weed risk assessments for those species that pose the greatest threat. The screening tool is associated with a searchable database for all 292 alien plant species across a range of spatial scales, available through an interactive web-based portal at http://weedfutures.net/.

  11. Cotyledon damage affects seed number through final plant size in the annual grassland species Medicago lupulina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shiting; Zhao, Chuan; Lamb, Eric G.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The effects of cotyledon damage on seedling growth and survival are relatively well established, but little is known about the effects on aspects of plant fitness such as seed number and size. Here the direct and indirect mechanisms linking cotyledon damage and plant fitness in the annual species Medicago lupulina are examined. Methods Growth and reproductive traits, including mature plant size, time to first flowering, flower number, seed number and individual seed mass were monitored in M. lupulina plants when zero, one or two cotyledons were removed at 7 d old. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to examine the mechanisms linking cotyledon damage to seed number and seed mass. Key Results Cotyledon damage reduced seed number but not individual seed mass. The primary mechanism was a reduction in plant biomass with cotyledon damage that in turn reduced seed number primarily through a reduction in flower numbers. Although cotyledon damage delayed flower initiation, it had little effect on seed number. Individual seed mass was not affected by cotyledon removal, but there was a trade-off between seed number and seed mass. Conclusions It is shown how a network of indirect mechanisms link damage to cotyledons and fitness in M. lupulina. Cotyledon damage had strong direct effects on both plant size and flowering phenology, but an analysis of the causal relationships among plant traits and fitness components showed that a reduction in plant size associated with cotyledon damage was an important mechanism influencing fitness. PMID:21196450

  12. Soil microbes and plant invasions—how soil-borne pathogens regulate plant populations and affect plant invasions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic plant invaders are a major global threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Here I present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that soil microbial communities affect the population growth rates of Prunus serotina in its native range and affect its invasiveness abroad. Research often ...

  13. Adenovirus uncoating and nuclear establishment are not affected by weak base amines.

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez, E; Everitt, E

    1996-01-01

    We have used four established lysosomotropic agents, ammonium chloride, amantadine, chloroquine, and methylamine, to monitor the possible interference with an early low-pH-dependent step during adenovirus replication. Two concentrations of each of the different agents were selected; one was essentially nontoxic to uninfected HeLa cells, and the other resulted in some toxicity as measured by trypan blue staining and by interference with cell monolayer establishment, cell proliferation, and radioisotope labelling. It was separately determined that these concentrations displayed pH-raising effects of the same magnitude as higher concentrations previously used in similar studies. Adenovirus uncoating in vivo, normally reaching its maximum within 1 h after infection, was not affected by any of the agents. The subsequent levels of successful nuclear entry events by the parental genomes were monitored by measuring the extent of transcription of an mRNA species coding for the early 72-kDa DNA-binding protein at 10 to 12 h postinfection. In HeLa, KB, HEp-2, and A549 cells, none of the agents were able to affect the levels of early transcription after administration at the point of infection or at 3 h after infection. The cumulative synthesis of the hexon antigen was assessed late in infection, and inhibitory effects were revealed upon administration of 10, 20, and 40 mM ammonium chloride, 10 mM methylamine, and 0.5 mM amantadine, irrespective of the time point of addition. Ammonium chloride at 5 mM reduced the hexon yield by 20% at the most when added within 50 min after infection. Chloroquine at concentrations of 2.5 and 5 microM specifically reduced the hexon yields by 30 to 40% when administered within the first 50 min of infection. On the basis of the lack of effects of nontoxic concentrations of the four agents on the early virus-cell interactive event of uncoating and the early virus-specified transcription, we conclude that a low-pH-dependent step early in the

  14. Endozoochorous dispersal of aquatic plants: does seed gut passage affect plant performance?

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Jordi; Santamaría, Luis; Green, Andy J; Luque, Isabel; Alvarez, Raquel; Charalambidou, Iris

    2005-04-01

    The ingestion of seeds by vertebrates can affect the germinability and/or germination rate of seeds. It is, however, unclear if an earlier germination as a result of ingestion affects later plant performance. For sago pondweed, Potamogeton pectinatus, the effects of seed ingestion by ducks on both germinability and germination rate have been previously reported from laboratory experiments. We performed an experiment to determine the effects of seed ingestion by ducks on germination, seedling survival, plant growth and asexual multiplication. Both at the start and end of the winter, seeds were fed to three captive shovelers (Anas clypeata) and planted outdoors in water-filled containers. Plant biomass and its allocation to vegetative parts (shoot and roots), tubers, and seeds were determined in autumn. More duck-ingested seeds than control (uningested) seeds germinated in early winter, but this difference disappeared for seeds planted in late winter, when the treatments were first stratified for 3 mo. None of the variables for measuring seedling survival and plant performance varied between treatments. Under our experimental conditions (no herbivory or competition), ingestion by ducks in early winter resulted in increased performance for seeds surviving gut passage due to enhanced seed germinability, without other costs or benefits for the seedlings.

  15. Plant community, primary productivity, and environmental conditions following wetland re-establishment in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, R.L.; Fujii, R.

    2010-01-01

    Wetland restoration can mitigate aerobic decomposition of subsided organic soils, as well as re-establish conditions favorable for carbon storage. Rates of carbon storage result from the balance of inputs and losses, both of which are affected by wetland hydrology. We followed the effect of water depth (25 and 55 cm) on the plant community, primary production, and changes in two re-established wetlands in the Sacramento San-Joaquin River Delta, California for 9 years after flooding to determine how relatively small differences in water depth affect carbon storage rates over time. To estimate annual carbon inputs, plant species cover, standing above- and below-ground plant biomass, and annual biomass turnover rates were measured, and allometric biomass models for Schoenoplectus (Scirpus) acutus and Typha spp., the emergent marsh dominants, were developed. As the wetlands developed, environmental factors, including water temperature, depth, and pH were measured. Emergent marsh vegetation colonized the shallow wetland more rapidly than the deeper wetland. This is important to potential carbon storage because emergent marsh vegetation is more productive, and less labile, than submerged and floating vegetation. Primary production of emergent marsh vegetation ranged from 1.3 to 3.2 kg of carbon per square meter annually; and, mid-season standing live biomass represented about half of the annual primary production. Changes in species composition occurred in both submerged and emergent plant communities as the wetlands matured. Water depth, temperature, and pH were lower in areas with emergent marsh vegetation compared to submerged vegetation, all of which, in turn, can affect carbon cycling and storage rates. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

  16. Timing of cotyledon damage affects growth and flowering in mature plants.

    PubMed

    Hanley, M E; Fegan, E L

    2007-07-01

    Although the effects of herbivory on plant fitness are strongly linked to age, we understand little about how the timing of herbivory at the seedling stage affects growth and reproduction for plants that survive attack. In this study, we subjected six north-western European, dicotyledonous grassland species (Leontodon autumnalis, Leontodon hispidus, Plantago lanceolata, Plantago major, Trifolium pratense and Trifolium repens) to cotyledon removal at 7, 14 and 21 d old. We monitored subsequent growth and flowering (number of inflorescences recorded, and time taken for first flowers to open) over a 107 d period. Cotyledon removal reduced growth during establishment (35 d) for all species, and a further three exhibited reduced growth at maturity. Four species developed fewer inflorescences, or had delayed flowering after cotyledon removal. Although early damage (7 d old) had the greatest long-term effect on plant performance, responses varied according to the age at which the damage occurred and the species involved. Our results illustrate how growth and flowering into the mature phase is affected by cotyledon damage during different stages of seedling ontogeny, and we highlight the ways in which ontogenetic variation in seedling tolerance of tissue loss might impact upon plant fitness in mature plant communities. PMID:17547653

  17. 25 CFR 542.4 - How do these regulations affect minimum internal control standards established in a Tribal-State...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false How do these regulations affect minimum internal control... COMMISSION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR HUMAN SERVICES MINIMUM INTERNAL CONTROL STANDARDS § 542.4 How do these regulations affect minimum internal control standards established in a Tribal-State compact? (a) If there is...

  18. Woody plant establishment in grassed reclamation areas of the Athabasca oil sands

    SciTech Connect

    Fedkenheuer, A.W.

    1980-12-01

    The primary end land use for areas disturbed by the Syncrude Canada Ltd. oil sands surface mining venture is forest cover. Short term erosion control is of concern, however, and this results in the early establishment of a grass and legume cover. Problems have subsequently been encountered in attempts to establish woody plants in the grass and legume cover. Vegetation competition for soil moisture and nutrients and rodent damage to woody seedlings have been the major problem areas. A study was initiated in 1978 to evaluate methods of manipulating the grass and legume cover sufficiently to improve success rates in establishing a variety of shrubs and trees. Five replicated treatments using the chemical herbicide glyphosate, soil scarification and fire alone plus soil scarification were established on an area seeded to grass and legumes in spring 1976. Woody plant survival and rodent damage, populations and distribution are being assessed annually in spring and fall. Rodent damage to woody seedlings was heavy in fall 1978 with 80 percent of the deciduous seedlings on non-scarified plots being damaged. In June 1979, 98 percent of the deciduous plants on the control and herbicide treatment areas were damaged. Damage to conifers was approximately 30 percent less during this time. Prescribed burning and mechanical scarification substantially reduced rodent damage. Seedling survival was variable with Amelanchier alnifolia, Pinus contorta and Populus tremuloides consistently exhibiting the highest survival rates.

  19. Application of plant growth regulators, a simple technique for improving the establishment success of plant cuttings in coastal dune restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balestri, Elena; Vallerini, Flavia; Castelli, Alberto; Lardicci, Claudio

    2012-03-01

    Exogenous application of plant growth regulators (PGRs) may be an effective technique for increasing the rooting ability and the growth of vegetative fragments (cuttings) of plants used in dune restoration programs. Various concentrations (0, 50 and 100 mg l-1) of two auxins, alpha-naphtaleneacetic acid (NAA) and indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), and two cytokinins, 6-furfurylaminopurine (Kinetin) and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP), were applied separately to cuttings of two widely used species for restoration, Ammophila arenaria and Sporobuls virginicus. Root development and production of new buds in cuttings were examined under laboratory conditions one month after application. Cuttings were also examined one year after transplanting into a sandy substratum under natural conditions, to test for possible long term effects of PGRs on plant establishment success and growth. The response of the two study species to PGRs differed substantially. In A. arenaria the auxin NAA at 100 mg l-1 reduced the time for root initiation and increased the rooting capacity of cuttings, while the cytokinin Kinetin at 50 mg l-1 facilitated root growth. No auxin had effect on rooting or growth of S. virginicus cuttings, but treatment with 100 mg l-1 Kinetin resulted in higher rooting success than the control. One year after planting, the cuttings of A. arenaria treated with 100 mg l-1 NAA showed a higher establishment success (90% vs. 55%) and produced more culms and longer roots than the control; those treated with cytokinins did not differ in the establishment success from the control, but had longer roots, more culms and rhizomes. On the other hand, the cuttings of S. virginicus treated with 100 mg l-1 Kinetin showed a higher establishment success (75% vs. 35%) and had more culms than the control. Therefore, in restoration activities that involved A. arenaria, a pre-treatment of cuttings with NAA would be beneficial, as it allows the production of a higher number of well-developed plants with

  20. Bouncing Back: Plant-Associated Soil Microbes Respond Rapidly to Prairie Establishment

    PubMed Central

    Herzberger, Anna J.; Duncan, David S.; Jackson, Randall D.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that soil microbial communities change in response to altered land use and land cover, but less is known about the timing of these changes. Understanding temporal patterns in recovering microbial communities is an important part of improving how we assess and manage reconstructed ecosystems. We assessed patterns of community-level microbial diversity and abundance in corn and prairie plots 2 to 4 years after establishment in agricultural fields, using phospholipid fatty acid biomarkers. Principal components analysis of the lipid biomarkers revealed differing composition between corn and prairie soil microbial communities. Despite no changes to the biomass of Gram-positive bacteria and actinomycetes, total biomass, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biomass, and Gram-negative bacteria biomass were significantly higher in restored prairie plots, approaching levels found in long-established prairies. These results indicate that plant-associated soil microbes in agricultural soils can shift in less than 2 years after establishment of perennial grasslands. PMID:25551613

  1. Bouncing back: plant-associated soil microbes respond rapidly to prairie establishment.

    PubMed

    Herzberger, Anna J; Duncan, David S; Jackson, Randall D

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that soil microbial communities change in response to altered land use and land cover, but less is known about the timing of these changes. Understanding temporal patterns in recovering microbial communities is an important part of improving how we assess and manage reconstructed ecosystems. We assessed patterns of community-level microbial diversity and abundance in corn and prairie plots 2 to 4 years after establishment in agricultural fields, using phospholipid fatty acid biomarkers. Principal components analysis of the lipid biomarkers revealed differing composition between corn and prairie soil microbial communities. Despite no changes to the biomass of Gram-positive bacteria and actinomycetes, total biomass, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biomass, and Gram-negative bacteria biomass were significantly higher in restored prairie plots, approaching levels found in long-established prairies. These results indicate that plant-associated soil microbes in agricultural soils can shift in less than 2 years after establishment of perennial grasslands.

  2. Carbon storage potential by four macrophytes as affected by planting diversity in a created wetland.

    PubMed

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Korol, Alicia R; Williams, Lisa D

    2016-01-01

    Wetland creation has become a commonplace method for mitigating the loss of natural wetlands. Often mitigation projects fail to restore ecosystem services of the impacted natural wetlands. One of the key ecosystem services of newly created wetlands is carbon accumulation/sequestration, but little is known about how planting diversity (PD) affects the ability of herbaceous wetland plants to store carbon in newly created wetlands. Most mitigation projects involve a planting regime, but PD, which may be critical in establishing biologically diverse and ecologically functioning wetlands, is seldom required. Using a set of 34 mesocosms (∼1 m(2) each), we investigated the effects of planting diversity on carbon storage potential of four native wetland plant species that are commonly planted in created mitigation wetlands in Virginia - Carex vulpinoidea, Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus effusus, and Mimulus ringens. The plants were grown under the four distinctive PD treatments [i.e., monoculture (PD 1) through four different species mixture (PD 4)]. Plant biomass was harvested after two growing seasons and analyzed for tissue carbon content. Competition values (CV) were calculated to understand how the PD treatment affected the competitive ability of plants relative to their biomass production and thus carbon storage potentials. Aboveground biomass ranged from 988 g/m(2) - 1515 g/m(2), being greatest in monocultures, but only when compared to the most diverse mixture (p = 0.021). However, carbon storage potential estimates per mesocosm ranged between 344 g C/m(2) in the most diverse mesocosms (PD 4) to 610 g C/m(2) in monoculture ones with no significant difference (p = 0.089). CV of E. obtusa and C. vulpinoidea showed a declining trend when grown in the most diverse mixtures but J. effusus and M. ringens displayed no difference across the PD gradient (p = 0.910). In monocultures, both M. ringens, and J. effusus appeared to store carbon as biomass more

  3. Carbon storage potential by four macrophytes as affected by planting diversity in a created wetland.

    PubMed

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Korol, Alicia R; Williams, Lisa D

    2016-01-01

    Wetland creation has become a commonplace method for mitigating the loss of natural wetlands. Often mitigation projects fail to restore ecosystem services of the impacted natural wetlands. One of the key ecosystem services of newly created wetlands is carbon accumulation/sequestration, but little is known about how planting diversity (PD) affects the ability of herbaceous wetland plants to store carbon in newly created wetlands. Most mitigation projects involve a planting regime, but PD, which may be critical in establishing biologically diverse and ecologically functioning wetlands, is seldom required. Using a set of 34 mesocosms (∼1 m(2) each), we investigated the effects of planting diversity on carbon storage potential of four native wetland plant species that are commonly planted in created mitigation wetlands in Virginia - Carex vulpinoidea, Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus effusus, and Mimulus ringens. The plants were grown under the four distinctive PD treatments [i.e., monoculture (PD 1) through four different species mixture (PD 4)]. Plant biomass was harvested after two growing seasons and analyzed for tissue carbon content. Competition values (CV) were calculated to understand how the PD treatment affected the competitive ability of plants relative to their biomass production and thus carbon storage potentials. Aboveground biomass ranged from 988 g/m(2) - 1515 g/m(2), being greatest in monocultures, but only when compared to the most diverse mixture (p = 0.021). However, carbon storage potential estimates per mesocosm ranged between 344 g C/m(2) in the most diverse mesocosms (PD 4) to 610 g C/m(2) in monoculture ones with no significant difference (p = 0.089). CV of E. obtusa and C. vulpinoidea showed a declining trend when grown in the most diverse mixtures but J. effusus and M. ringens displayed no difference across the PD gradient (p = 0.910). In monocultures, both M. ringens, and J. effusus appeared to store carbon as biomass more

  4. Potential assessment of establishing a renewable energy plant in a rural agricultural area.

    PubMed

    Su, Ming-Chien; Kao, Nien-Hsin; Huang, Wen-Jar

    2012-06-01

    An evaluation of the green energy potential generated from biogas and solar power, using agricultural manure waste and a photovoltaic (PV) system, was conducted in a large geographical area of a rural county with low population density and low pollution. The studied area, Shoufeng Township in Hualien County, is located in eastern Taiwan, where a large amount of manure waste is generated from pig farms that are scattered throughout the county. The objective of the study is to assess the possibility of establishing an integrated manure waste treatment plant by using the generated biogas incorporated with the PV system to produce renewable energy and then feed it back to the incorporated farms. A filed investigation, geographic information system (GIS) application, empirical equations development, and RETScreen modeling were conducted in the study. The results indicate that Shoufeng Township has the highest priority in setting up an integrated treatment and renewable energy plant by using GIS mapping within a 10-km radius of the transportation range. Two scenarios were plotted in assessing the renewable energy plant and the estimated electricity generation, plus the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction was evaluated. Under the current governmental green energy scheme and from a long-term perspective, the assessment shows great potential in establishing the plant, especially in reducing environmental pollution problems, waste treatment, and developing suitable renewable energy.

  5. Gasified Grass and Wood Biochars Facilitate Plant Establishment in Acid Mine Soils.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Claire L; Trippe, Kristin M; Whittaker, Gerald; Griffith, Stephen M; Johnson, Mark G; Banowetz, Gary M

    2016-05-01

    Heavy metals in exposed mine tailings threaten ecosystems that surround thousands of abandoned mines in the United States. Biochars derived from the pyrolysis or gasification of biomass may serve as a valuable soil amendment to revegetate mine sites. We evaluated the ability of two biochars, produced by gasification of either Kentucky bluegrass seed screenings (KB) or mixed conifer wood (CW), to support the growth of plants in mine spoils from the abandoned Formosa and Almeda Mines in Oregon. To evaluate the potential for plant establishment in mine tailings, wheat was grown in tailings amended with biochar at rates ranging from 0 to 9% (w/w). Both KB and CW biochars promoted plant establishment by increasing soil pH, increasing concentrations of macro- and micronutrients, and decreasing the solubility and plant uptake of heavy metals. Formosa tailings required at least 4% biochar and Almeda soil required at least 2% biochar to promote healthy wheat growth. A complimentary experiment in which mine spoils were leached with simulated precipitation indicated that biochar amendment rates ≥4% were sufficient to neutralize the elution pH and reduce concentrations of potentially toxic elements (Zn, Cu, Ni, Al) to levels near or below concern. These findings support the use of gasified biochar amendments to revegetate acid mine soils. PMID:27136169

  6. Fusion and metabolism of plant cells as affected by microgravity.

    PubMed

    Hampp, R; Hoffmann, E; Schönherr, K; Johann, P; De Filippis, L

    1997-01-01

    Plant cell protoplasts derived from leaf tissue of two different tobacco species (Nicotiana tabacum., N. rustica L.) were exposed to short-term (sounding rocket experiments) and long-term (spacelab) microgravity environments in order to study both (electro) cell fusion and cell metabolism during early and later stages of tissue regeneration. The period of exposure to microgravity varied from 10 min (sounding rocket) to 10 d (space shuttle). The process of electro fusion of protoplasts was improved under conditions of microgravity: the time needed to establish close membrane contact between protoplasts (alignment time) was reduced (5 as compared to 15 s under 1 g) and numbers of fusion products between protoplasts of different specific density were increased by a factor of about 10. In addition, viability of fusion products, as shown by the ability to form callus, increased from about 60% to more than 90%. Regenerated fusion products obtained from both sounding-rocket and spacelab experiments showed a wide range of intermediate properties between the two parental plants. This was verified by isozyme analysis and random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). In order to address potential metabolic responses, more general markers such as the overall energy state (ATP/ADP ratio), the redox charge of the diphosphopyridine nucleotide system (NADH/NAD ratio), and the pool size of fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru 2,6 bisp), a regulator of the balance between glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, were determined. Responses of these parameters were different with regard to short-term and long-term exposure. Shortly after transition to reduced gravitation (sounding rocket) ratios of ATP/ADP exhibited strong fluctuation while the pool size of NAD decreased (indicating an increased NADH/NAD ratio) and that of Fru 2,6 bisp increased. As similar changes can be observed under stress conditions, this response is probably indicative of a metabolic stress

  7. Preventing Establishment: An Inventory of Introduced Plants in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, Galapagos

    PubMed Central

    Guézou, Anne; Pozo, Paola; Buddenhagen, Christopher

    2007-01-01

    As part of an island-wide project to identify and eradicate potentially invasive plant species before they become established, a program of inventories is being carried out in the urban and agricultural zones of the four inhabited islands in Galapagos. This study reports the results of the inventory from Puerto Villamil, a coastal village representing the urban zone of Isabela Island. We visited all 1193 village properties to record the presence of the introduced plants. In addition, information was collected from half of the properties to determine evidence for potential invasiveness of the plant species. We recorded 261 vascular taxa, 13 of which were new records for Galapagos. Most of the species were intentionally grown (cultivated) (73.3%) and used principally as ornamentals. The most frequent taxa we encountered were Cocos nucifera (coconut tree) (22.1%) as a cultivated plant and Paspalum vaginatum (salt water couch) (13.2%) as a non cultivated plant. In addition 39 taxa were naturalized. On the basis of the invasiveness study, we recommend five species for eradication (Abutilon dianthum, Datura inoxia, Datura metel, Senna alata and Solanum capsicoides), one species for hybridization studies (Opuntia ficus-indica) and three species for control (Furcraea hexapetala, Leucaena leucocephala and Paspalum vaginatum). PMID:17940606

  8. Preventing establishment: an inventory of introduced plants in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, Galapagos.

    PubMed

    Guézou, Anne; Pozo, Paola; Buddenhagen, Christopher

    2007-10-17

    As part of an island-wide project to identify and eradicate potentially invasive plant species before they become established, a program of inventories is being carried out in the urban and agricultural zones of the four inhabited islands in Galapagos. This study reports the results of the inventory from Puerto Villamil, a coastal village representing the urban zone of Isabela Island. We visited all 1193 village properties to record the presence of the introduced plants. In addition, information was collected from half of the properties to determine evidence for potential invasiveness of the plant species. We recorded 261 vascular taxa, 13 of which were new records for Galapagos. Most of the species were intentionally grown (cultivated) (73.3%) and used principally as ornamentals. The most frequent taxa we encountered were Cocos nucifera (coconut tree) (22.1%) as a cultivated plant and Paspalum vaginatum (salt water couch) (13.2%) as a non cultivated plant. In addition 39 taxa were naturalized. On the basis of the invasiveness study, we recommend five species for eradication (Abutilon dianthum, Datura inoxia, Datura metel, Senna alata and Solanum capsicoides), one species for hybridization studies (Opuntia ficus-indica) and three species for control (Furcraea hexapetala, Leucaena leucocephala and Paspalum vaginatum).

  9. Health Care Management Courses in Greek Universities: A First Attempt to Establish Factors Affecting Satisfaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kotsifos, Vangelis; Alegakis, Athanasios; Philalithis, Anastas

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The object of this study is to formulate, establish and apply a suitable and reliable tool for measuring the course experience satisfaction of Master graduates. A questionnaire was formulated, based on similar tools, and adjusted to the reality of Hellenic Higher Education, in order to measure the satisfaction of graduates in three Master…

  10. Management factors affecting establishment and yield of bioenergy miscanthus on claypan soil landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bioenergy crop Miscanthus x giganteus has been well studied for its establishment and yield in Europe and certain parts of the US Midwest but little has been done to investigate these properties when grown on degraded soils, which are typified as being less productive, and consequently, economically...

  11. Affective imagery and acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants.

    PubMed

    Keller, Carmen; Visschers, Vivianne; Siegrist, Michael

    2012-03-01

    This study examined the relationship between the content of spontaneous associations with nuclear power plants and the acceptance of using new-generation nuclear power plants to replace old ones. The study also considered gender as a variable. A representative sample of the German- and French-speaking population of Switzerland (N= 1,221) was used. Log-linear models revealed significant two-way interactions between the association content and acceptance, association content and gender, and gender and acceptance. Correspondence analysis revealed that participants who were opposed to nuclear power plants mainly associated nuclear power plants with risk, negative feelings, accidents, radioactivity, waste disposal, military use, and negative consequences for health and environment; whereas participants favoring nuclear power plants mainly associated them with energy, appearance descriptions of nuclear power plants, and necessity. Thus, individuals opposing nuclear power plants had both more concrete and more diverse associations with them than people who were in favor of nuclear power plants. In addition, participants who were undecided often mentioned similar associations to those participants who were in favor. Males more often expressed associations with energy, waste disposal, and negative health effects. Females more often made associations with appearance descriptions, negative feelings, and negative environmental effects. The results further suggest that acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants was higher in the German-speaking part of the country, where all of the Swiss nuclear power plants are physically located. Practical implications for risk communication are discussed.

  12. Propagule size and predispersal damage by insects affect establishment and early growth of mangrove seedlings.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Wayne P; Kennedy, Peter G; Mitchell, Betsy J

    2003-05-01

    Variation in rates of seedling recruitment, growth, and survival can strongly influence the rate and course of forest regeneration following disturbance. Using a combination of field sampling and shadehouse experiments, we investigated the influence of propagule size and predispersal insect damage on the establishment and early growth of the three common mangrove species on the Caribbean coast of Panama: Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, and Rhizophora mangle. In our field samples, all three species exhibited considerable intraspecific variation in mature propagule size, and suffered moderate to high levels of predispersal attack by larval insects. Rates of insect attack were largely independent of propagule size both within and among trees. Our experimental studies using undamaged mature propagules showed that, for all three species, seedlings established at high rates regardless of propagule size. However, propagule size did have a marked effect on early seedling growth: seedlings that developed from larger propagules grew more rapidly. Predispersal insect infestations that had destroyed or removed a substantial amount of tissue, particularly if that tissue was meristematic or conductive, reduced the establishment of propagules of all three species. The effect of sublethal tissue damage or loss on the subsequent growth of established seedlings varied among the three mangrove species. For Avicennia, the growth response was graded: for a propagule of a given size, the more tissue lost, the slower the growth of the seedling. For Laguncularia, the response to insect attack appeared to be all-or-none. If the boring insect penetrated the outer spongy seed coat and reached the developing embryo, it usually caused sufficient damage to prevent a seedling from developing. On the other hand, if the insect damaged but did not penetrate the seed coat, a completely healthy seedling developed and its growth rate was indistinguishable from a seedling developing from an

  13. The importance of floral signals in the establishment of plant-ant mutualisms

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Visual and olfactory floral signals are essential for the establishment of plant-pollinator mutualisms. Different batteries of floral features attract different pollinators and may achieve specific relationships that are essential for the immediate plant reproductive success, and at an evolutionary time scale have been of vital importance in the radiation of Angiosperms. We have found that mutualistic services by ants, insects traditionally considered ineffective pollinators, are essential for the pollination of Cytinus hypocistis (Cytinaceae), a Mediterranean root holoparasitic plant. Diverse floral signals, mainly nectar characteristics and floral scent could be playing a key role in the attraction of different species of ants, which pollinate effectively the flowers. Surprisingly, the abundance of other insects foraging in this parasite was very low and, although this scarcity could be due in part to the presence of ants, we suggest that different floral features exhibited by C. hypocistis could be evolving for attracting ants. Based on some current findings, we suspect that the study of floral signals in Cytinaceae is critical in the understanding the divergence of pollination systems in this fascinating family of parasitic plants. PMID:19816128

  14. Nutrient enrichment affects the mechanical resistance of aquatic plants

    PubMed Central

    Puijalon, Sara

    2012-01-01

    For many plant species, nutrient availability induces important anatomical responses, particularly the production of low-density tissues to the detriment of supporting tissues. Due to the contrasting biomechanical properties of plant tissues, these anatomical responses may induce important modifications in the biomechanical properties of plant organs. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nutrient enrichment on the anatomical traits of two freshwater plant species and its consequences on plant biomechanical performance. Two plant species were grown under controlled conditions in low versus high nutrient levels. The anatomical and biomechanical traits of the plant stems were measured. Both species produced tissues with lower densities under nutrient-rich conditions, accompanied by modifications in the structure of the aerenchyma for one species. As expected, nutrient enrichment also led to important modifications in the biomechanical properties of the stem for both species. In particular, mechanical resistance (breaking force and strength) and stiffness of stems were significantly reduced under nutrient rich conditions. The production of weaker stem tissues as a result of nutrient enrichment may increase the risk of plants to mechanical failure, thus challenging plant maintenance in mechanically stressful or disturbed habitats. PMID:23028018

  15. Nutrient enrichment affects the mechanical resistance of aquatic plants.

    PubMed

    Lamberti-Raverot, Barbara; Puijalon, Sara

    2012-10-01

    For many plant species, nutrient availability induces important anatomical responses, particularly the production of low-density tissues to the detriment of supporting tissues. Due to the contrasting biomechanical properties of plant tissues, these anatomical responses may induce important modifications in the biomechanical properties of plant organs. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nutrient enrichment on the anatomical traits of two freshwater plant species and its consequences on plant biomechanical performance. Two plant species were grown under controlled conditions in low versus high nutrient levels. The anatomical and biomechanical traits of the plant stems were measured. Both species produced tissues with lower densities under nutrient-rich conditions, accompanied by modifications in the structure of the aerenchyma for one species. As expected, nutrient enrichment also led to important modifications in the biomechanical properties of the stem for both species. In particular, mechanical resistance (breaking force and strength) and stiffness of stems were significantly reduced under nutrient rich conditions. The production of weaker stem tissues as a result of nutrient enrichment may increase the risk of plants to mechanical failure, thus challenging plant maintenance in mechanically stressful or disturbed habitats. PMID:23028018

  16. 7-Rhamnosylated Flavonols Modulate Homeostasis of the Plant Hormone Auxin and Affect Plant Development.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Benjamin M; Errafi, Sanae; Bucher, Rahel; Dobrev, Petre; Geisler, Markus; Bigler, Laurent; Zažímalová, Eva; Ringli, Christoph

    2016-03-01

    Flavonols are a group of secondary metabolites that affect diverse cellular processes. They are considered putative negative regulators of the transport of the phytohormone auxin, by which they influence auxin distribution and concomitantly take part in the control of plant organ development. Flavonols are accumulating in a large number of glycosidic forms. Whether these have distinct functions and diverse cellular targets is not well understood. The rol1-2 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana is characterized by a modified flavonol glycosylation profile that is inducing changes in auxin transport and growth defects in shoot tissues. To determine whether specific flavonol glycosides are responsible for these phenotypes, a suppressor screen was performed on the rol1-2 mutant, resulting in the identification of an allelic series of UGT89C1, a gene encoding a flavonol 7-O-rhamnosyltransferase. A detailed analysis revealed that interfering with flavonol rhamnosylation increases the concentration of auxin precursors and auxin metabolites, whereas auxin transport is not affected. This finding provides an additional level of complexity to the possible ways by which flavonols influence auxin distribution and suggests that flavonol glycosides play an important role in regulating plant development.

  17. Water use in four model tropical plant associations established in the lowlands of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Soto, Marco V; Ewel, John J

    2008-12-01

    We examined soil water use patterns of four model plant associations established in the North Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica by comparing the stable hydrogen isotope composition, deltaD, in xylem sap and in soil water at different depths, under rainy and dry conditions. Four 5-year-old model plant associations composed of 2 tree species (Hyeronima alchorneoides and Cedrela odorata) having different architecture and phenology were studied. Average tree height was 8.9 and 7.6 m, respectively. Each tree species was grown in monoculture and in polyculture with 2 perennial monocotyledons (Euterpe oleracea and Heliconia imbricata). Maximum rooting depth at the time of 6D determination was approximately 2 m for almost all species. Most roots of all species were concentrated in the upper soil layers. Stomatal conductance to water vapor (gS) was higher in the deciduous C. odorata than in the evergreen H. alchorneoides; within each species, g, did not differ when the trees were grown in mono or in polyculture. During the rainy season, gradients in soil water 6D were not observed. Average rainy season xylem sap deltaD did not differ among members of the plant combinations tested (-30% per thousand), and was more similar to deltaD values of shallow soil water. Under dry conditions, volumetric soil water content declined from 50 to approximately 35%, and modest gradients in soil water deltaD were observed. Xylem sap deltaD obtained during dry conditions was significantly lower than rainy season values. Xylem sap deltaD of plants growing in the four associations varied between -9 and -22% per hundred, indicating that shallow water was predominantly absorbed during the dry period too. Differences in xylem sap deltaD of trees and monocots were also detected, but no significant patterns emerged. The results suggest that: (a) the plant associations examined extracted water predominantly from shallow soil layers (<1 m), (b) the natural isotopic variation in soil and plant water at

  18. Factors Affecting Location Decisions of Food Processing Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turhan, Sule; Canan Ozbag, Basak; Cetin, Bahattin

    The main aim of this study is to examine the determinants of location choices for food processing plants using the results of 59 personal surveys. The 61.3% of the food processing plants that were interviewed are small scale plants, 9.1% are large scale plants and 29.6% are medium scale plants. Sixteen of the firms process vegetables, 12 process poultry, 12 process dairy and 9 process seafood products. Business climate factors are divided into six categories (market, infrastructure, raw material, labor, personal and environmental) and 17 specific location factors are considered. The survey responses are analyzed by types of raw materials processed and by plant size. 43.7, 55.3 and 42.2% of the respondents cited categories of Market, Raw Material and Infrastructure respectively as important, while 44.3, 50.7 and 74.4% of the respondents cited, labor, personal and environmental regulation categories of as not important. Thus survey findings indicate that plant location choices are mainly driven by market, raw material and infra structural factors. Environmental factors such as environmental regulations and permissions are relatively insignificant.

  19. Factors affecting plant growth in membrane nutrient delivery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dreschel, T. W.; Wheeler, R. M.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.

    1990-01-01

    The development of the tubular membrane plant growth unit for the delivery of water and nutrients to roots in microgravity has recently focused on measuring the effects of changes in physical variables controlling solution availability to the plants. Significant effects of membrane pore size and the negative pressure used to contain the solution were demonstrated. Generally, wheat grew better in units with a larger pore size but equal negative pressure and in units with the same pore size but less negative pressure. Lettuce also exhibited better plant growth at less negative pressure.

  20. Does the Establishment of Sustainable Use Reserves Affect Fire Management in the Humid Tropics?

    PubMed Central

    Carmenta, Rachel; Blackburn, George Alan; Davies, Gemma; de Sassi, Claudio; Lima, André; Parry, Luke; Tych, Wlodek; Barlow, Jos

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests are experiencing a growing fire problem driven by climatic change, agricultural expansion and forest degradation. Protected areas are an important feature of forest protection strategies, and sustainable use reserves (SURs) may be reducing fire prevalence since they promote sustainable livelihoods and resource management. However, the use of fire in swidden agriculture, and other forms of land management, may be undermining the effectiveness of SURs in meeting their conservation and sustainable development goals. We analyse MODIS derived hot pixels, TRMM rainfall data, Terra-Class land cover data, socio-ecological data from the Brazilian agro-census and the spatial extent of rivers and roads to evaluate whether the designation of SURs reduces fire occurrence in the Brazilian Amazon. Specifically, we ask (1) a. Is SUR location (i.e., de facto) or (1) b. designation (i.e. de jure) the driving factor affecting performance in terms of the spatial density of fires?, and (2), Does SUR creation affect fire management (i.e., the timing of fires in relation to previous rainfall)? We demonstrate that pre-protection baselines are crucial for understanding reserve performance. We show that reserve creation had no discernible impact on fire density, and that fires were less prevalent in SURs due to their characteristics of sparser human settlement and remoteness, rather than their status de jure. In addition, the timing of fires in relation to rainfall, indicative of local fire management and adherence to environmental law, did not improve following SUR creation. These results challenge the notion that SURs promote environmentally sensitive fire-management, and suggest that SURs in Amazonia will require special attention if they are to curtail future accidental wildfires, particularly as plans to expand the road infrastructure throughout the region are realised. Greater investment to support improved fire management by farmers living in reserves, in addition to

  1. Does the Establishment of Sustainable Use Reserves Affect Fire Management in the Humid Tropics?

    PubMed

    Carmenta, Rachel; Blackburn, George Alan; Davies, Gemma; de Sassi, Claudio; Lima, André; Parry, Luke; Tych, Wlodek; Barlow, Jos

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests are experiencing a growing fire problem driven by climatic change, agricultural expansion and forest degradation. Protected areas are an important feature of forest protection strategies, and sustainable use reserves (SURs) may be reducing fire prevalence since they promote sustainable livelihoods and resource management. However, the use of fire in swidden agriculture, and other forms of land management, may be undermining the effectiveness of SURs in meeting their conservation and sustainable development goals. We analyse MODIS derived hot pixels, TRMM rainfall data, Terra-Class land cover data, socio-ecological data from the Brazilian agro-census and the spatial extent of rivers and roads to evaluate whether the designation of SURs reduces fire occurrence in the Brazilian Amazon. Specifically, we ask (1) a. Is SUR location (i.e., de facto) or (1) b. designation (i.e. de jure) the driving factor affecting performance in terms of the spatial density of fires?, and (2), Does SUR creation affect fire management (i.e., the timing of fires in relation to previous rainfall)? We demonstrate that pre-protection baselines are crucial for understanding reserve performance. We show that reserve creation had no discernible impact on fire density, and that fires were less prevalent in SURs due to their characteristics of sparser human settlement and remoteness, rather than their status de jure. In addition, the timing of fires in relation to rainfall, indicative of local fire management and adherence to environmental law, did not improve following SUR creation. These results challenge the notion that SURs promote environmentally sensitive fire-management, and suggest that SURs in Amazonia will require special attention if they are to curtail future accidental wildfires, particularly as plans to expand the road infrastructure throughout the region are realised. Greater investment to support improved fire management by farmers living in reserves, in addition to

  2. Exogenously treated mammalian sex hormones affect inorganic constituents of plants.

    PubMed

    Erdal, Serkan; Dumlupinar, Rahmi

    2011-10-01

    The present study was undertaken to reveal the changes in inorganic constituents of plants exposed to mammalian sex hormones (MSH). Chickpea leaves were sprayed with 10(-4), 10(-6), 10(-9), 10(-12), and 10(-15) M concentrations of progesterone, β-estradiol, and androsterone at 7th day after sowing. The plants were harvested at the end of 18 days after treatment of MSH solutions and the inorganic components determined using a wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy technique. At all of the concentrations tested, MSH significantly increased the contents of K, S, Na, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, P, Cu, and Ni. Interestingly, only Mn and Cl contents decreased. The maximum changes in the inorganic composition were recorded at 10(-6) M for plants treated with progesterone and 10(-9) M for plants treated with β-estradiol and androsterone.

  3. Self-recognition affects plant communication and defense.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Shiojiri, Kaori

    2009-06-01

    Animals have the ability to distinguish self from non-self, which has allowed them to evolve immune systems and, in some instances, to act preferentially towards individuals that are genetically identical or related. Self-recognition is less well known for plants, although recent work indicates that physically connected roots recognize self and reduce competitive interactions. Sagebrush uses volatile cues emitted by clipped branches of self or different neighbours to increase resistance to herbivory. Here, we show that plants that received volatile cues from genetically identical cuttings accumulated less natural damage than plants that received cues from non-self cuttings. Volatile communication is required to coordinate systemic processes such as induced resistance and plants respond more effectively to self than non-self cues. This self/non-self discrimination did not require physical contact and is a necessary first step towards possible kin recognition and kin selection.

  4. A novel family of small proteins that affect plant development

    SciTech Connect

    John Charles Walker

    2011-04-29

    The DVL genes represent a new group of plant proteins that influence plant growth and development. Overexpression of DVL1, and other members of the DVL family, causes striking phenotypic changes. The DVL proteins share sequence homology in their C-terminal half. Point mutations in the C-terminal domain show it is necessary and deletion studies demonstrate the C-terminal domain is sufficient to confer the overexpression phenotypes. The phenotypes observed, and the conservation of the protein sequence in the plant kingdom, does suggest the DVL proteins have a role in modulating plant growth and development. Our working hypothesis is the DVL proteins function as regulators of cellular signaling pathways that control growth and development.

  5. Plant toxins that affect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: A review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants produce wide variety of chemical compounds termed secondary metabolites that are not involved in basic metabolism, photosynthesis or reproduction. These compounds are used as flavors, fragrances, insecticides, dyes, hallucinogens, nutritional supplements, poisons, and pharmaceutical agents. ...

  6. Impacts of Carpobrotus edulis (L.) N.E.Br. on the Germination, Establishment and Survival of Native Plants: A Clue for Assessing Its Competitive Strength

    PubMed Central

    Novoa, Ana; González, Luís

    2014-01-01

    Does Carpobrotus edulis have an impact on native plants? How do C. edulis’ soil residual effects affect the maintenance of native populations? What is the extent of interspecific competition in its invasion process? In order to answer those questions, we established pure and mixed cultures of native species and C. edulis on soil collected from invaded and native areas of Mediterranean coastal dunes in the Iberian Peninsula. We examined the impact of the invader on the germination, growth and survival of seeds and adult plants of two native plant species (Malcolmia littorea (L.) R.Br, and Scabiosa atropurpurea L.) growing with ramets or seeds of C. edulis. Residual effects of C. edulis on soils affected the germination process and early growth of native plants in different ways, depending on plant species and density. Interspecific competition significantly reduced the germination and early growth of native plants but this result was soil, density, timing and plant species dependent. Also, at any density of adult individuals of C. edulis, established native adult plants were not competitive. Moreover, ramets of C. edulis had a lethal effect on native plants, which died in a short period of time. Even the presence of C. edulis seedlings prevents the recruitment of native species. In conclusion, C. edulis have strong negative impacts on the germination, growth and survival of the native species M. littorea and S. atropurpurea. These impacts were highly depended on the development stages of native and invasive plants. Our findings are crucial for new strategies of biodiversity conservation in coastal habitats. PMID:25210924

  7. Rhizosphere microbiome assemblage is affected by plant development

    PubMed Central

    Chaparro, Jacqueline M; Badri, Dayakar V; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2014-01-01

    There is a concerted understanding of the ability of root exudates to influence the structure of rhizosphere microbial communities. However, our knowledge of the connection between plant development, root exudation and microbiome assemblage is limited. Here, we analyzed the structure of the rhizospheric bacterial community associated with Arabidopsis at four time points corresponding to distinct stages of plant development: seedling, vegetative, bolting and flowering. Overall, there were no significant differences in bacterial community structure, but we observed that the microbial community at the seedling stage was distinct from the other developmental time points. At a closer level, phylum such as Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria and specific genera within those phyla followed distinct patterns associated with plant development and root exudation. These results suggested that the plant can select a subset of microbes at different stages of development, presumably for specific functions. Accordingly, metatranscriptomics analysis of the rhizosphere microbiome revealed that 81 unique transcripts were significantly (P<0.05) expressed at different stages of plant development. For instance, genes involved in streptomycin synthesis were significantly induced at bolting and flowering stages, presumably for disease suppression. We surmise that plants secrete blends of compounds and specific phytochemicals in the root exudates that are differentially produced at distinct stages of development to help orchestrate rhizosphere microbiome assemblage. PMID:24196324

  8. Plant surface wax affects parasitoid's response to host footprints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rostás, Michael; Ruf, Daniel; Zabka, Vanessa; Hildebrandt, Ulrich

    2008-10-01

    The plant surface is the substrate upon which herbivorous insects and natural enemies meet and thus represents the stage for interactions between the three trophic levels. Plant surfaces are covered by an epicuticular wax layer which is highly variable depending on species, cultivar or plant part. Differences in wax chemistry may modulate ecological interactions. We explored whether caterpillars of Spodoptera frugiperda, when walking over a plant surface, leave a chemical trail (kairomones) that can be detected by the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris. Chemistry and micromorphology of cuticular waxes of two barley eceriferum wax mutants ( cer-za.126, cer-yp.949) and wild-type cv. Bonus (wt) were assessed. The plants were then used to investigate potential surface effects on the detectability of caterpillar kairomones. Here we provide evidence that C. marginiventris responds to chemical footprints of its host. Parasitoids were able to detect the kairomone on wild-type plants and on both cer mutants but the response to cer-yp.949 (reduced wax, high aldehyde fraction) was less pronounced. Experiments with caterpillar-treated wt and mutant leaves offered simultaneously, confirmed this observation: no difference in wasp response was found when wt was tested against cer-za.126 (reduced wax, wt-like chemical composition) but wt was significantly more attractive than cer-yp.949. This demonstrates for the first time that the wax layer can modulate the detectability of host kairomones.

  9. Olfactory memory established during trophallaxis affects food search behaviour in ants.

    PubMed

    Provecho, Yael; Josens, Roxana

    2009-10-01

    Camponotus mus ants can associate sucrose and odour at the source during successive foraging cycles and use this memory to locate the nectar in the absence of other cues. These ants perform conspicuous trophallactic behaviour during recruitment while foraging for nectar. In this work, we studied whether Camponotus mus ants are able to establish this odour-sucrose association in the social context of trophallaxis and we evaluated this memory in another context previously experienced by the ant, as a nectar source. After a single trophallaxis of a scented solution, the receiver ant was tested in a Y-maze without any reward, where two scents were presented: in one arm, the solution scent and in the other, a new scent. Ants consistently chose the arm with the solution scent and stayed longer therein. Trophallaxis duration had no effect on the arm choice or with the time spent in each arm. Workers are able to associate an odour (conditioned stimulus) with the sucrose (unconditioned stimulus) they receive through a social interaction and use this memory as choice criteria during food searching. PMID:19801426

  10. Contrasts in Student Affect by Institution and Instructor: Establishing a National Baseline for Geoscience Courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mcconnell, D. A.; Perkins, D.; Stempien, J.; Husman, J.

    2011-12-01

    The GARNET (Geoscience Affective Research Network) project examines the connection between student learning and the affective domain, which includes student motivations, values, attitudes and learning strategies - factors that can both promote and limit learning. This is the first study to compare and contrast the relationship between student motivation and learning strategies, the nature of classroom instruction, and learning outcomes across a common course taught by multiple instructors at different types of academic institutions. In 2009-2011 we administered pre- and post-course Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaires (MSLQ; Pintrich et al, 1993) to 1990 students in more than 40 introductory geology classes taught by 25 instructors at nine colleges and universities. Students primarily register for the introductory courses to fulfill a general education requirement with a relatively modest proportion (25%) declaring a prior interest in the course topic. This institutional requirement produces a situation where students' motivational orientation is not likely to adjust to their newfound academic environment. The students do not have an interest in the topic, they have little prior knowledge about the content, they do not see connections between the content and their future goals, and they have limited autonomy in their choice of a course (the course is required). In general, we find that across different institutions and instructors, students' motivation and self-regulation degrades. Through classroom observations, and student surveys we have evidence that specific faculty are able to help students maintain some of the positive motivational orientations students bring to the class. The MSLQ contains 15 subscales, six measure motivation (e.g., task value, self-efficacy), and nine focus on different learning strategies (e.g., elaboration, effort regulation). Regardless of institution or instructor, MSLQ scores on many subscales declined from beginning to

  11. Regression analysis of technical parameters affecting nuclear power plant performances

    SciTech Connect

    Ghazy, R.; Ricotti, M. E.; Trueco, P.

    2012-07-01

    Since the 80's many studies have been conducted in order to explicate good and bad performances of commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs), but yet no defined correlation has been found out to be totally representative of plant operational experience. In early works, data availability and the number of operating power stations were both limited; therefore, results showed that specific technical characteristics of NPPs were supposed to be the main causal factors for successful plant operation. Although these aspects keep on assuming a significant role, later studies and observations showed that other factors concerning management and organization of the plant could instead be predominant comparing utilities operational and economic results. Utility quality, in a word, can be used to summarize all the managerial and operational aspects that seem to be effective in determining plant performance. In this paper operational data of a consistent sample of commercial nuclear power stations, out of the total 433 operating NPPs, are analyzed, mainly focusing on the last decade operational experience. The sample consists of PWR and BWR technology, operated by utilities located in different countries, including U.S. (Japan)) (France)) (Germany)) and Finland. Multivariate regression is performed using Unit Capability Factor (UCF) as the dependent variable; this factor reflects indeed the effectiveness of plant programs and practices in maximizing the available electrical generation and consequently provides an overall indication of how well plants are operated and maintained. Aspects that may not be real causal factors but which can have a consistent impact on the UCF, as technology design, supplier, size and age, are included in the analysis as independent variables. (authors)

  12. Burkholderia cenocepacia Lipopolysaccharide Modification and Flagellin Glycosylation Affect Virulence but Not Innate Immune Recognition in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Khodai-Kalaki, Maryam; Andrade, Angel; Fathy Mohamed, Yasmine

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Burkholderia cenocepacia causes opportunistic infections in plants, insects, animals, and humans, suggesting that “virulence” depends on the host and its innate susceptibility to infection. We hypothesized that modifications in key bacterial molecules recognized by the innate immune system modulate host responses to B. cenocepacia. Indeed, modification of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose and flagellin glycosylation attenuates B. cenocepacia infection in Arabidopsis thaliana and Galleria mellonella insect larvae. However, B. cenocepacia LPS and flagellin triggered rapid bursts of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in A. thaliana leading to activation of the PR-1 defense gene. These responses were drastically reduced in plants with fls2 (flagellin FLS2 host receptor kinase), Atnoa1 (nitric oxide-associated protein 1), and dnd1-1 (reduced production of nitric oxide) null mutations. Together, our results indicate that LPS modification and flagellin glycosylation do not affect recognition by plant receptors but are required for bacteria to establish overt infection. PMID:26045541

  13. Colostrum quality affects immune system establishment and intestinal development of neonatal calves.

    PubMed

    Yang, M; Zou, Y; Wu, Z H; Li, S L; Cao, Z J

    2015-10-01

    The first meal of a neonatal calf after birth is crucial for survival and health. The present experiment was performed to assess the effects of colostrum quality on IgG passive transfer, immune and antioxidant status, and intestinal morphology and histology in neonatal calves. Twenty-eight Holstein neonatal male calves were used in the current study, 24 of which were assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups: those that received colostrum (GrC), transitional milk (GrT, which was obtained after the first milking on 2-3 d after calving), and bulk tank milk (GrB) only at birth. The 4 extra neonatal calves who were not fed any milk were assigned to the control group and were killed immediately after birth to be a negative control to small intestinal morphology and histology detection. Calves in GrC gained more body weight than in GrT, whereas GrB calves lost 0.4 kg compared with the birth weight. Serum total protein, IgG, and superoxide dismutase concentrations were highest in GrC, GrT was intermediate, whereas GrB was the lowest on d 2, 3, and 7. Apparent efficiency of absorption at 48 h, serum complement 3 (C3), and complement 4 (C4) on d 2, 3, and 7 in GrB was low compared with GrC and GrT. On the contrary, malondialdehyde on d 7 increased in GrB. Calves in GrC had better villus length and width, crypt depth, villus height/crypt depth (V/C) value, and mucosal thickness in the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, whereas GrT calves had lower villus length and width, crypt depth, and mucosal thickness than those fed colostrum. Villi of calves in GrB were nonuniform, sparse, severely atrophied, and apically abscised, and Peyer's patches and hydroncus were detected. Overall, colostrum is the best source for calves in IgG absorption, antioxidant activities, and serum growth metabolites, and promoting intestinal development. The higher quality of colostrum calves ingested, the faster immune defense mechanism and the more healthy intestinal circumstances they established. PMID:26233454

  14. Colostrum quality affects immune system establishment and intestinal development of neonatal calves.

    PubMed

    Yang, M; Zou, Y; Wu, Z H; Li, S L; Cao, Z J

    2015-10-01

    The first meal of a neonatal calf after birth is crucial for survival and health. The present experiment was performed to assess the effects of colostrum quality on IgG passive transfer, immune and antioxidant status, and intestinal morphology and histology in neonatal calves. Twenty-eight Holstein neonatal male calves were used in the current study, 24 of which were assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups: those that received colostrum (GrC), transitional milk (GrT, which was obtained after the first milking on 2-3 d after calving), and bulk tank milk (GrB) only at birth. The 4 extra neonatal calves who were not fed any milk were assigned to the control group and were killed immediately after birth to be a negative control to small intestinal morphology and histology detection. Calves in GrC gained more body weight than in GrT, whereas GrB calves lost 0.4 kg compared with the birth weight. Serum total protein, IgG, and superoxide dismutase concentrations were highest in GrC, GrT was intermediate, whereas GrB was the lowest on d 2, 3, and 7. Apparent efficiency of absorption at 48 h, serum complement 3 (C3), and complement 4 (C4) on d 2, 3, and 7 in GrB was low compared with GrC and GrT. On the contrary, malondialdehyde on d 7 increased in GrB. Calves in GrC had better villus length and width, crypt depth, villus height/crypt depth (V/C) value, and mucosal thickness in the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, whereas GrT calves had lower villus length and width, crypt depth, and mucosal thickness than those fed colostrum. Villi of calves in GrB were nonuniform, sparse, severely atrophied, and apically abscised, and Peyer's patches and hydroncus were detected. Overall, colostrum is the best source for calves in IgG absorption, antioxidant activities, and serum growth metabolites, and promoting intestinal development. The higher quality of colostrum calves ingested, the faster immune defense mechanism and the more healthy intestinal circumstances they established.

  15. Composition of hydroponic medium affects thorium uptake by tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Soudek, Petr; Kufner, Daniel; Petrová, Sárka; Mihaljevič, Martin; Vaněk, Tomáš

    2013-08-01

    The ability of thorium uptake as well as responses to heavy metal stress were tested in tobacco cultivar La Burley 21. Thorium was accumulated preferentially in the root system. The presence of citric, tartaric and oxalic acids in hydroponic medium increased thorium accumulation in all plant organs. On the other hand, the addition of diamines and polyamines, the important antioxidants in plants, resulted in decrease of thorium accumulation, especially in the root system. Negative correlation was found between putrescine concentration and thorium accumulation. Nevertheless, the most important factor influencing the accumulation of thorium was the absence of phosphate ions in a hydroponic medium that caused more than 10-fold increase of thorium uptake in all plant parts. Accumulation and distribution of thorium was followed in six cultivars and 14 selected transformants. Cultivar La Barley 21 represented an average between the tested genotypes, having a very good distribution ratio between roots, stems and leaves.

  16. Cadmium content of plants as affected by soil cadmium concentration

    SciTech Connect

    Lehoczky, E.; Szabados, I.; Marth, P.

    1996-12-31

    Pot experiments were conducted in greenhouse conditions to study the effects of increasing cadmium (Cd) levels on biomass production and Cd contents in corn, (Zea mays L.), garlic (Allium sativum L.), and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Plants were grown in two soil types: Eutric cambisol soil and A gleyic luvisol soil. Spinach proved to be the most sensitive to Cd treatments as its biomass considerably decreased with the increasing Cd levels. Cadmium contents of the three crops increased with increasing levels of Cd applications. Statistical differences were observed in the Cd contents of crops depending on soil type. With the same Cd rates, Cd tissue concentration of test plants grown in the strongly acidic Gleyic luvisol soil were many times higher than that of plants grown in a neutral Eutric cambisol soil. 14 refs., 4 tabs.

  17. How neighbor canopy architecture affects target plant performance

    SciTech Connect

    Tremmel, D.C.; Bazzaz, F.A. )

    1993-10-01

    Plant competition occurs through the negative effects that individual plants have on resource availability to neighboring individuals. Therefore competition experiments need to examine how different species change resource availability to their neighbors, and how different species respond to these changes-allocationally, architecturally, and physiologically-through time. In a greenhouse study we used a model system of annuals to examine how canopies of species having differing morphologies differed in their architectures and light-interception abilities, and how different species performed when grown in these canopies. Abutilon theophrasti, Datura stramonium, and Polygonum pensylvanicum were grown as [open quotes]targets[close quotes]. Plants were grown in pots, with one target plant and four neighbor plants. Detailed measurements of neighbor canopy structure and target plant canopy architecture were made at five harvests. Species with different morphologies showed large differences in canopy structure, particularly when grass and forb species were compared. Setaria, a grass, had a more open canopy than the other species (all forbs), and was a consistently weak competitor. Overall, however, the relative effects of different neighbors on target biomass varied with target species. Target biomass was poorly correlated with neighbor biomass and leaf area, but was highly correlated with a measure of target light-interception ability that took into account both target leaf deployment and neighbor light interception. Despite clear differences among neighbor species in canopy structure and effect on light penetration, the results suggest no broad generalizations about the effects of different species as neighbors. Knowledge of morphological, physiological, and life history characteristics of both the target and neighbor species may be necessary to explain the results of their competition. 53 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  18. Plant extracts affect in vitro rumen microbial fermentation.

    PubMed

    Busquet, M; Calsamiglia, S; Ferret, A; Kamel, C

    2006-02-01

    Different doses of 12 plant extracts and 6 secondary plant metabolites were incubated for 24 h in diluted ruminal fluid with a 50:50 forage:concentrate diet. Treatments were: control (no additive), plant extracts (anise oil, cade oil, capsicum oil, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, dill oil, fenugreek, garlic oil, ginger oil, oregano oil, tea tree oil, and yucca), and secondary plant metabolites (anethol, benzyl salicylate, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, and eugenol). Each treatment was supplied at 3, 30, 300, and 3,000 mg/L of culture fluid. At 3,000 mg/L, most treatments decreased total volatile fatty acid concentration, but cade oil, capsicum oil, dill oil, fenugreek, ginger oil, and yucca had no effect. Different doses of anethol, anise oil, carvone, and tea tree oil decreased the proportion of acetate and propionate, which suggests that these compounds may not be nutritionally beneficial to dairy cattle. Garlic oil (300 and 3,000 mg/L) and benzyl salicylate (300 and 3,000 mg/L) reduced acetate and increased propionate and butyrate proportions, suggesting that methane production was inhibited. At 3,000 mg/L, capsicum oil, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, eugenol, fenugreek, and oregano oil resulted in a 30 to 50% reduction in ammonia N concentration. Careful selection and combination of these extracts may allow the manipulation of rumen microbial fermentation.

  19. Maximizing plant density affects broccoli yield and quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased demand for fresh market bunch broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) has led to increased production along the United States east coast. Maximizing broccoli yields is a primary concern for quickly expanding southeastern commercial markets. This broccoli plant density study was carr...

  20. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), due to its potential to vector the pathogen causing citrus greening disease or huanglongbing, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide. While optimal plant cultivars for ACP oviposition and development have been determined, little is known of the influence of...

  1. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms’ specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Results Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms

  2. Microbial inoculants and organic amendment improves plant establishment and soil rehabilitation under semiarid conditions.

    PubMed

    Mengual, Carmen; Schoebitz, Mauricio; Azcón, Rosario; Roldán, Antonio

    2014-02-15

    The re-establishment of autochthonous shrub species is an essential strategy for recovering degraded soils under semiarid Mediterranean conditions. A field assay was carried out to determine the combined effects of the inoculation with native rhizobacteria (Bacillus megaterium, Enterobacter sp, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus sp) and the addition of composted sugar beet (SB) residue on physicochemical soil properties and Lavandula dentata L. establishment. One year after planting, Bacillus sp. and B. megaterium + SB were the most effective treatments for increasing shoot dry biomass (by 5-fold with respect to control) and Enterobacter sp + SB was the most effective treatments for increasing dry root biomass. All the treatments evaluated significantly increased the foliar nutrient content (NPK) compared to control values (except B. thuringiensis + SB). The organic amendment had significantly increased available phosphorus content in rhizosphere soil by 29% respect to the control. Enterobacter sp combined with sugar beet residue improved total N content in soil (by 46% respect to the control) as well as microbiological and biochemical properties. The selection of the most efficient rhizobacteria strains and their combined effect with organic residue seems to be a critical point that drives the effectiveness of using these biotechnological tools for the revegetation and rehabilitation of degraded soils under semiarid conditions. PMID:24463051

  3. Plant natural variability may affect safety assessment data.

    PubMed

    Batista, Rita; Oliveira, Margarida

    2010-12-01

    Before market introduction, genetic engineered (GE) food products, like any other novel food product, are subjected to extensive assessment of their potential effects on human health. In recent years, a number of profiling technologies have been explored aiming to increase the probability of detecting any unpredictable unintended effect and, consequently improving the efficiency of GE food safety assessment. These techniques still present limitations associated with the interpretation of the observed differences with respect to their biological relevance and toxicological significance. In order to address this issue, in this study, we have performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of five different ears of five different MON810 maize plants and of other five of the non-transgenic near-isogenic line. We have also performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of the pool of the five protein extractions of MON810 and control lines. We have notice that, in this example, the exclusive use of data from 2D-electrophoresed pooled samples, to compare these two lines, would be insufficient for an adequate safety evaluation. We conclude that, when using "omics" technologies, it is extremely important to eliminate all potential differences due to factors not related to the ones under study, and to understand the role of natural plant-to-plant variability in the encountered differences.

  4. Volatile exchange between undamaged plants - a new mechanism affecting insect orientation in intercropping.

    PubMed

    Ninkovic, Velemir; Dahlin, Iris; Vucetic, Andja; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Changes in plant volatile emission can be induced by exposure to volatiles from neighbouring insect-attacked plants. However, plants are also exposed to volatiles from unattacked neighbours, and the consequences of this have not been explored. We investigated whether volatile exchange between undamaged plants affects volatile emission and plant-insect interaction. Consistently greater quantities of two terpenoids were found in the headspace of potato previously exposed to volatiles from undamaged onion plants identified by mass spectrometry. Using live plants and synthetic blends mimicking exposed and unexposed potato, we tested the olfactory response of winged aphids, Myzus persicae. The altered potato volatile profile deterred aphids in laboratory experiments. Further, we show that growing potato together with onion in the field reduces the abundance of winged, host-seeking aphids. Our study broadens the ecological significance of the phenomenon; volatiles carry not only information on whether or not neighbouring plants are under attack, but also information on the emitter plants themselves. In this way responding plants could obtain information on whether the neighbouring plant is a competitive threat and can accordingly adjust their growth towards it. We interpret this as a response in the process of adaptation towards neighbouring plants. Furthermore, these physiological changes in the responding plants have significant ecological impact, as behaviour of aphids was affected. Since herbivore host plants are potentially under constant exposure to these volatiles, our study has major implications for the understanding of how mechanisms within plant communities affect insects. This knowledge could be used to improve plant protection and increase scientific understanding of communication between plants and its impact on other organisms.

  5. Volatile Exchange between Undamaged Plants - a New Mechanism Affecting Insect Orientation in Intercropping

    PubMed Central

    Ninkovic, Velemir; Dahlin, Iris; Vucetic, Andja; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Changes in plant volatile emission can be induced by exposure to volatiles from neighbouring insect-attacked plants. However, plants are also exposed to volatiles from unattacked neighbours, and the consequences of this have not been explored. We investigated whether volatile exchange between undamaged plants affects volatile emission and plant-insect interaction. Consistently greater quantities of two terpenoids were found in the headspace of potato previously exposed to volatiles from undamaged onion plants identified by mass spectrometry. Using live plants and synthetic blends mimicking exposed and unexposed potato, we tested the olfactory response of winged aphids, Myzus persicae. The altered potato volatile profile deterred aphids in laboratory experiments. Further, we show that growing potato together with onion in the field reduces the abundance of winged, host-seeking aphids. Our study broadens the ecological significance of the phenomenon; volatiles carry not only information on whether or not neighbouring plants are under attack, but also information on the emitter plants themselves. In this way responding plants could obtain information on whether the neighbouring plant is a competitive threat and can accordingly adjust their growth towards it. We interpret this as a response in the process of adaptation towards neighbouring plants. Furthermore, these physiological changes in the responding plants have significant ecological impact, as behaviour of aphids was affected. Since herbivore host plants are potentially under constant exposure to these volatiles, our study has major implications for the understanding of how mechanisms within plant communities affect insects. This knowledge could be used to improve plant protection and increase scientific understanding of communication between plants and its impact on other organisms. PMID:23922710

  6. Spatial heterogeneity of plant-soil feedback affects root interactions and interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, Marloes; Ravenek, Janneke M; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek E; van der Paauw, Jan Willem; de Caluwe, Hannie; van der Putten, Wim H; de Kroon, Hans; Mommer, Liesje

    2015-08-01

    Plant-soil feedback is receiving increasing interest as a factor influencing plant competition and species coexistence in grasslands. However, we do not know how spatial distribution of plant-soil feedback affects plant below-ground interactions. We investigated the way in which spatial heterogeneity of soil biota affects competitive interactions in grassland plant species. We performed a pairwise competition experiment combined with heterogeneous distribution of soil biota using four grassland plant species and their soil biota. Patches were applied as quadrants of 'own' and 'foreign' soils from all plant species in all pairwise combinations. To evaluate interspecific root responses, species-specific root biomass was quantified using real-time PCR. All plant species suffered negative soil feedback, but strength was species-specific, reflected by a decrease in root growth in own compared with foreign soil. Reduction in root growth in own patches by the superior plant competitor provided opportunities for inferior competitors to increase root biomass in these patches. These patterns did not cascade into above-ground effects during our experiment. We show that root distributions can be determined by spatial heterogeneity of soil biota, affecting plant below-ground competitive interactions. Thus, spatial heterogeneity of soil biota may contribute to plant species coexistence in species-rich grasslands. PMID:25871977

  7. Spatial heterogeneity of plant-soil feedback affects root interactions and interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, Marloes; Ravenek, Janneke M; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek E; van der Paauw, Jan Willem; de Caluwe, Hannie; van der Putten, Wim H; de Kroon, Hans; Mommer, Liesje

    2015-08-01

    Plant-soil feedback is receiving increasing interest as a factor influencing plant competition and species coexistence in grasslands. However, we do not know how spatial distribution of plant-soil feedback affects plant below-ground interactions. We investigated the way in which spatial heterogeneity of soil biota affects competitive interactions in grassland plant species. We performed a pairwise competition experiment combined with heterogeneous distribution of soil biota using four grassland plant species and their soil biota. Patches were applied as quadrants of 'own' and 'foreign' soils from all plant species in all pairwise combinations. To evaluate interspecific root responses, species-specific root biomass was quantified using real-time PCR. All plant species suffered negative soil feedback, but strength was species-specific, reflected by a decrease in root growth in own compared with foreign soil. Reduction in root growth in own patches by the superior plant competitor provided opportunities for inferior competitors to increase root biomass in these patches. These patterns did not cascade into above-ground effects during our experiment. We show that root distributions can be determined by spatial heterogeneity of soil biota, affecting plant below-ground competitive interactions. Thus, spatial heterogeneity of soil biota may contribute to plant species coexistence in species-rich grasslands.

  8. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores.

    PubMed

    Poelman, Erik H; Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Zhao; Heemskerk, Nanda M; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-12-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natural enemies of the herbivores. However, information borne by VOCs is ubiquitous and may attract carnivores, such as parasitoids, that differ in their effectiveness at releasing the plant from its herbivorous attackers. Furthermore, the development of parasitoids within their herbivorous hosts, attacking a given host plant, may influence the elicitation of defensive reactions in the host plant. This may, in turn, affect the behavior of subsequent herbivores attacking the host plant. Here, we show that the species identity of a parasitoid had a more significant effect on defense responses of Brassica oleracea plants than the species identity of the herbivorous hosts of the parasitoids. Consequently, B. oleracea plants that were damaged by caterpillars (Pieris spp.) parasitized by different parasitoid species varied in the degree to which diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) selected the plants for oviposition. Attracting parasitoids in general benefitted the plants by reducing diamondback moth colonization. However, the species of parasitoid that parasitized the herbivore significantly affected the magnitude of this benefit by its species-specific effect on herbivore-plant interactions mediated by caterpillar regurgitant. Our findings show that information-mediated indirect defense may lead to unpredictable consequences for plants when considering trait-mediated effects of parasitized caterpillars on the host plant and their consequences because of community-wide responses to induced plants. PMID:22084113

  9. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores.

    PubMed

    Poelman, Erik H; Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Zhao; Heemskerk, Nanda M; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-12-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natural enemies of the herbivores. However, information borne by VOCs is ubiquitous and may attract carnivores, such as parasitoids, that differ in their effectiveness at releasing the plant from its herbivorous attackers. Furthermore, the development of parasitoids within their herbivorous hosts, attacking a given host plant, may influence the elicitation of defensive reactions in the host plant. This may, in turn, affect the behavior of subsequent herbivores attacking the host plant. Here, we show that the species identity of a parasitoid had a more significant effect on defense responses of Brassica oleracea plants than the species identity of the herbivorous hosts of the parasitoids. Consequently, B. oleracea plants that were damaged by caterpillars (Pieris spp.) parasitized by different parasitoid species varied in the degree to which diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) selected the plants for oviposition. Attracting parasitoids in general benefitted the plants by reducing diamondback moth colonization. However, the species of parasitoid that parasitized the herbivore significantly affected the magnitude of this benefit by its species-specific effect on herbivore-plant interactions mediated by caterpillar regurgitant. Our findings show that information-mediated indirect defense may lead to unpredictable consequences for plants when considering trait-mediated effects of parasitized caterpillars on the host plant and their consequences because of community-wide responses to induced plants.

  10. Multilevel dynamic systems affecting introduction of HIV/STI prevention innovations among Chinese women in sex work establishments.

    PubMed

    Weeks, Margaret R; Li, Jianghong; Liao, Susu; Zhang, Qingning; Dunn, Jennifer; Wang, Yanhong; Jiang, Jingmei

    2013-10-01

    Social and public health scientists are increasingly interested in applying system dynamics theory to improve understanding and to harness the forces of change within complex, multilevel systems that affect community intervention implementation, effects, and sustainability. Building a system dynamics model based on ethnographic case study has the advantage of using empirically documented contextual factors and processes of change in a real-world and real-time setting that can then be tested in the same and other settings. System dynamics modeling offers great promise for addressing persistent problems like HIV and other sexually transmitted epidemics, particularly in complex rapidly developing countries such as China. We generated a system dynamics model of a multilevel intervention we conducted to promote female condoms for HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention among Chinese women in sex work establishments. The model reflects factors and forces affecting the study's intervention, implementation, and effects. To build this conceptual model, we drew on our experiences and findings from this intensive, longitudinal mixed-ethnographic and quantitative four-town comparative case study (2007-2012) of the sex work establishments, the intervention conducted in them, and factors likely to explain variation in process and outcomes in the four towns. Multiple feedback loops in the sex work establishments, women's social networks, and the health organization responsible for implementing HIV/STI interventions in each town and at the town level directly or indirectly influenced the female condom intervention. We present the conceptual system dynamics model and discuss how further testing in this and other settings can inform future community interventions to reduce HIV and STIs. PMID:24084394

  11. Multilevel dynamic systems affecting introduction of HIV/STI prevention innovations among Chinese women in sex work establishments.

    PubMed

    Weeks, Margaret R; Li, Jianghong; Liao, Susu; Zhang, Qingning; Dunn, Jennifer; Wang, Yanhong; Jiang, Jingmei

    2013-10-01

    Social and public health scientists are increasingly interested in applying system dynamics theory to improve understanding and to harness the forces of change within complex, multilevel systems that affect community intervention implementation, effects, and sustainability. Building a system dynamics model based on ethnographic case study has the advantage of using empirically documented contextual factors and processes of change in a real-world and real-time setting that can then be tested in the same and other settings. System dynamics modeling offers great promise for addressing persistent problems like HIV and other sexually transmitted epidemics, particularly in complex rapidly developing countries such as China. We generated a system dynamics model of a multilevel intervention we conducted to promote female condoms for HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention among Chinese women in sex work establishments. The model reflects factors and forces affecting the study's intervention, implementation, and effects. To build this conceptual model, we drew on our experiences and findings from this intensive, longitudinal mixed-ethnographic and quantitative four-town comparative case study (2007-2012) of the sex work establishments, the intervention conducted in them, and factors likely to explain variation in process and outcomes in the four towns. Multiple feedback loops in the sex work establishments, women's social networks, and the health organization responsible for implementing HIV/STI interventions in each town and at the town level directly or indirectly influenced the female condom intervention. We present the conceptual system dynamics model and discuss how further testing in this and other settings can inform future community interventions to reduce HIV and STIs.

  12. Allocation, stress tolerance and carbon transport in plants: how does phloem physiology affect plant ecology?

    PubMed

    Savage, Jessica A; Clearwater, Michael J; Haines, Dustin F; Klein, Tamir; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Sevanto, Sanna; Turgeon, Robert; Zhang, Cankui

    2016-04-01

    Despite the crucial role of carbon transport in whole plant physiology and its impact on plant-environment interactions and ecosystem function, relatively little research has tried to examine how phloem physiology impacts plant ecology. In this review, we highlight several areas of active research where inquiry into phloem physiology has increased our understanding of whole plant function and ecological processes. We consider how xylem-phloem interactions impact plant drought tolerance and reproduction, how phloem transport influences carbon allocation in trees and carbon cycling in ecosystems and how phloem function mediates plant relations with insects, pests, microbes and symbiotes. We argue that in spite of challenges that exist in studying phloem physiology, it is critical that we consider the role of this dynamic vascular system when examining the relationship between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment. PMID:26147312

  13. Allocation, stress tolerance and carbon transport in plants: how does phloem physiology affect plant ecology?

    PubMed

    Savage, Jessica A; Clearwater, Michael J; Haines, Dustin F; Klein, Tamir; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Sevanto, Sanna; Turgeon, Robert; Zhang, Cankui

    2016-04-01

    Despite the crucial role of carbon transport in whole plant physiology and its impact on plant-environment interactions and ecosystem function, relatively little research has tried to examine how phloem physiology impacts plant ecology. In this review, we highlight several areas of active research where inquiry into phloem physiology has increased our understanding of whole plant function and ecological processes. We consider how xylem-phloem interactions impact plant drought tolerance and reproduction, how phloem transport influences carbon allocation in trees and carbon cycling in ecosystems and how phloem function mediates plant relations with insects, pests, microbes and symbiotes. We argue that in spite of challenges that exist in studying phloem physiology, it is critical that we consider the role of this dynamic vascular system when examining the relationship between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment.

  14. Bacterial communities involved in soil formation and plant establishment triggered by pyrite bioweathering on arctic moraines.

    PubMed

    Mapelli, Francesca; Marasco, Ramona; Rizzi, Agostino; Baldi, Franco; Ventura, Stefano; Daffonchio, Daniele; Borin, Sara

    2011-02-01

    In arctic glacier moraines, bioweathering primed by microbial iron oxidizers creates fertility gradients that accelerate soil development and plant establishment. With the aim of investigating the change of bacterial diversity in a pyrite-weathered gradient, we analyzed the composition of the bacterial communities involved in the process by sequencing 16S rRNA gene libraries from different biological soil crusts (BSC). Bacterial communities in three BSC of different morphology, located within 1 m distance downstream a pyritic conglomerate rock, were significantly diverse. The glacier moraine surrounding the weathered site showed wide phylogenetic diversity and high evenness with 15 represented bacterial classes, dominated by Alphaproteobacteria and pioneer Cyanobacteria colonizers. The bioweathered area showed the lowest diversity indexes and only nine bacterial families, largely dominated by Acidobacteriaceae and Acetobacteraceae typical of acidic environments, in accordance with the low pH of the BSC. In the weathered BSC, iron-oxidizing bacteria were cultivated, with counts decreasing along with the increase of distance from the rock, and nutrient release from the rock was revealed by environmental scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray analyses. The vegetated area showed the presence of Actinomycetales, Verrucomicrobiales, Gemmatimonadales, Burkholderiales, and Rhizobiales, denoting a bacterial community typical of developed soils and indicating that the lithoid substrate of the bare moraine was here subjected to an accelerated colonization, driven by iron-oxidizing activity.

  15. Bacterial communities involved in soil formation and plant establishment triggered by pyrite bioweathering on arctic moraines.

    PubMed

    Mapelli, Francesca; Marasco, Ramona; Rizzi, Agostino; Baldi, Franco; Ventura, Stefano; Daffonchio, Daniele; Borin, Sara

    2011-02-01

    In arctic glacier moraines, bioweathering primed by microbial iron oxidizers creates fertility gradients that accelerate soil development and plant establishment. With the aim of investigating the change of bacterial diversity in a pyrite-weathered gradient, we analyzed the composition of the bacterial communities involved in the process by sequencing 16S rRNA gene libraries from different biological soil crusts (BSC). Bacterial communities in three BSC of different morphology, located within 1 m distance downstream a pyritic conglomerate rock, were significantly diverse. The glacier moraine surrounding the weathered site showed wide phylogenetic diversity and high evenness with 15 represented bacterial classes, dominated by Alphaproteobacteria and pioneer Cyanobacteria colonizers. The bioweathered area showed the lowest diversity indexes and only nine bacterial families, largely dominated by Acidobacteriaceae and Acetobacteraceae typical of acidic environments, in accordance with the low pH of the BSC. In the weathered BSC, iron-oxidizing bacteria were cultivated, with counts decreasing along with the increase of distance from the rock, and nutrient release from the rock was revealed by environmental scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray analyses. The vegetated area showed the presence of Actinomycetales, Verrucomicrobiales, Gemmatimonadales, Burkholderiales, and Rhizobiales, denoting a bacterial community typical of developed soils and indicating that the lithoid substrate of the bare moraine was here subjected to an accelerated colonization, driven by iron-oxidizing activity. PMID:20953598

  16. Reassessment of selected factors affecting siting of Nuclear Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.E.; Hanson, A.L.; Mubayi, V.; Nourbakhsh, H.P.

    1997-02-01

    Brookhaven National Laboratory has performed a series of probabilistic consequence assessment calculations for nuclear reactor siting. This study takes into account recent insights into severe accident source terms and examines consequences in a risk based format consistent with the quantitative health objectives (QHOs) of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy. Simplified severe accident source terms developed in this study are based on the risk insights of NUREG-1150. The results of the study indicate that both the quantity of radioactivity released in a severe accident as well as the likelihood of a release are lower than those predicted in earlier studies. The accident risks using the simplified source terms are examined at a series of generic plant sites, that vary in population distribution, meteorological conditions, and exclusion area boundary distances. Sensitivity calculations are performed to evaluate the effects of emergency protective action assumptions on the risk of prompt fatality and latent cancers fatality, and population relocation. The study finds that based on the new source terms the prompt and latent fatality risks at all generic sites meet the QHOs of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy by margins ranging from one to more than three orders of magnitude. 4 refs., 17 figs., 24 tabs.

  17. A Fungal Endosymbiont Affects Host Plant Recruitment Through Seed- and Litter-mediated Mechanisms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Many grass species are associated with maternally transmitted fungal endophytes. Increasing evidence shows that endophytes enhance host plant success under varied conditions, yet studies have rarely considered alternative mechanisms whereby these mutualistic symbionts may affect regeneration from...

  18. Establishment of clonal myogenic cell lines from severely affected dystrophic muscles - CDK4 maintains the myogenic population

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background A hallmark of muscular dystrophies is the replacement of muscle by connective tissue. Muscle biopsies from patients severely affected with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) may contain few myogenic cells. Because the chromosomal contraction at 4q35 linked to FSHD is thought to cause a defect within myogenic cells, it is important to study this particular cell type, rather than the fibroblasts and adipocytes of the endomysial fibrosis, to understand the mechanism leading to myopathy. Results We present a protocol to establish clonal myogenic cell lines from even severely dystrophic muscle that has been replaced mostly by fat, using overexpression of CDK4 and the catalytic component of telomerase (human telomerase reverse transcriptase; hTERT), and a subsequent cloning step. hTERT is necessary to compensate for telomere loss during in vitro cultivation, while CDK4 prevents a telomere-independent growth arrest affecting CD56+ myogenic cells, but not their CD56- counterpart, in vitro. Conclusions These immortal cell lines are valuable tools to reproducibly study the effect of the FSHD mutation within myoblasts isolated from muscles that have been severely affected by the disease, without the confounding influence of variable amounts of contaminating connective-tissue cells. PMID:21798090

  19. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  20. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  1. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  2. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  3. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  4. Widespread seed limitation affects plant density but not population trajectory in the invasive plant Centaurea solstitialis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In some plant populations, the availability of seeds strongly regulates recruitment. However, a scarcity of germination microsites, granivory or density dependent mortality can reduce the number of plants that germinate or survive to flowering. The relative strength of these controls is unknown for ...

  5. Drought stress affects plant metabolites and herbivore preference but not host location by its parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Weldegergis, Berhane T; Zhu, Feng; Poelman, Erik H; Dicke, Marcel

    2015-03-01

    One of the main abiotic stresses that strongly affects plant survival and the primary cause of crop loss around the world is drought. Drought stress leads to sequential morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular changes that can have severe effects on plant growth, development and productivity. As a consequence of these changes, the interaction between plants and insects can be altered. Using cultivated Brassica oleracea plants, the parasitoid Microplitis mediator and its herbivorous host Mamestra brassicae, we studied the effect of drought stress on (1) the emission of plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs), (2) plant hormone titres, (3) preference and performance of the herbivore, and (4) preference of the parasitoid. Higher levels of jasmonic acid (JA) and abscisic acid (ABA) were recorded in response to herbivory, but no significant differences were observed for salicylic acid (SA) and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Drought significantly impacted SA level and showed a significant interactive effect with herbivory for IAA levels. A total of 55 VOCs were recorded and the difference among the treatments was influenced largely by herbivory, where the emission rate of fatty acid-derived volatiles, nitriles and (E)-4,8-dimethylnona-1,3,7-triene [(E)-DMNT] was enhanced. Mamestra brassicae moths preferred to lay eggs on drought-stressed over control plants; their offspring performed similarly on plants of both treatments. VOCs due to drought did not affect the choice of M. mediator parasitoids. Overall, our study reveals an influence of drought on plant chemistry and insect-plant interactions. PMID:25370387

  6. Volatile interaction between undamaged plants affects tritrophic interactions through changed plant volatile emission.

    PubMed

    Vucetic, Andja; Dahlin, Iris; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben; Ninkovic, Velemir

    2014-01-01

    Volatile interactions between unattacked plants can lead to changes in their volatile emissions. Exposure of potato plants to onion plant volatiles results in increased emission of 2 terpenoids, (E)-nerolidol and TMTT. We investigated whether this is detectable by the ladybird Coccinella septempunctata. The odor of onion-exposed potato was significantly more attractive to ladybirds than that of unexposed potato. Further, a synthetic blend mimicking the volatile profile of onion-exposed potato was more attractive than a blend mimicking that of unexposed potato. When presented individually, TMTT was attractive to ladybirds whereas (E)-nerolidol was repellent. Volatile exchange between unattacked plants and consequent increased attractiveness for ladybirds may be a mechanism that contributes to the increased abundance of natural enemies in complex plant habitats. PMID:25763628

  7. Volatile interaction between undamaged plants affects tritrophic interactions through changed plant volatile emission.

    PubMed

    Vucetic, Andja; Dahlin, Iris; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben; Ninkovic, Velemir

    2014-01-01

    Volatile interactions between unattacked plants can lead to changes in their volatile emissions. Exposure of potato plants to onion plant volatiles results in increased emission of 2 terpenoids, (E)-nerolidol and TMTT. We investigated whether this is detectable by the ladybird Coccinella septempunctata. The odor of onion-exposed potato was significantly more attractive to ladybirds than that of unexposed potato. Further, a synthetic blend mimicking the volatile profile of onion-exposed potato was more attractive than a blend mimicking that of unexposed potato. When presented individually, TMTT was attractive to ladybirds whereas (E)-nerolidol was repellent. Volatile exchange between unattacked plants and consequent increased attractiveness for ladybirds may be a mechanism that contributes to the increased abundance of natural enemies in complex plant habitats.

  8. Volatile interaction between undamaged plants affects tritrophic interactions through changed plant volatile emission.

    PubMed

    Vucetic, Andja; Dahlin, Iris; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben; Ninkovic, Velemir

    2014-06-13

    Volatile interactions between unattacked plants can lead to changes in their volatile emissions. Exposure of potato plants to onion plant volatiles results in increased emission of 2 terpenoids, (E)-nerolidol and TMTT. We investigated whether this is detectable by the ladybird Coccinella septempunctata. The odor of onion-exposed potato was significantly more attractive to ladybirds than that of unexposed potato. Further, a synthetic blend mimicking the volatile profile of onion-exposed potato was more attractive than a blend mimicking that of unexposed potato. When presented individually, TMTT was attractive to ladybirds whereas (E)-nerolidol was repellent. Volatile exchange between unattacked plants and consequent increased attractiveness for ladybirds may be a mechanism that contributes to the increased abundance of natural enemies in complex plant habitats.

  9. Competitive interactions between established grasses and woody plant seedlings under elevated CO₂ levels are mediated by soil water availability.

    PubMed

    Manea, A; Leishman, M R

    2015-02-01

    The expansion of woody plants into grasslands has been observed worldwide and is likely to have widespread ecological consequences. One proposal is that woody plant expansion into grasslands is driven in part by the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We have examined the effect of CO2 concentration on the competitive interactions between established C4 grasses and woody plant seedlings in a model grassland system. Woody plant seedlings were grown in mesocosms together with established C4 grasses in three competition treatments (root competition, shoot competition and root + shoot competition) under ambient and elevated CO2 levels. We found that the growth of the woody plant seedlings was suppressed by competition from grasses, with root and shoot competition having similar competitive effects on growth. In contrast to expectations, woody plant seedling growth was reduced at elevated CO2 levels compared to that at the ambient CO2 level across all competition treatments, with the most plausible explanation being reduced light and soil water availability in the elevated CO2 mesocosms. Reduced light and soil water availability in the elevated CO2 mesocosms was associated with an increased leaf area index of the grasses which offset the reductions in stomatal conductance and increased rainfall interception. The woody plant seedlings also had reduced 'escapability' (stem biomass and stem height) under elevated compared to ambient CO2 levels. Our results suggest that the expansion of woody plants into grasslands in the future will likely be context-dependent, with the establishment success of woody plant seedlings being strongly coupled to the CO2 response of competing grasses and to soil water availability.

  10. Climate warming affects biological invasions by shifting interactions of plants and herbivores.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xinmin; Siemann, Evan; Shao, Xu; Wei, Hui; Ding, Jianqing

    2013-08-01

    Plants and herbivorous insects can each be dramatically affected by temperature. Climate warming may impact plant invasion success directly but also indirectly through changes in their natural enemies. To date, however, there are no tests of how climate warming shifts the interactions among invasive plants and their natural enemies to affect invasion success. Field surveys covering the full latitudinal range of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in China showed that a beetle introduced for biocontrol was rare or absent at higher latitudes. In contrast, plant cover and mass increased with latitude. In a 2-year field experiment near the northern limit of beetle distribution, we found the beetle sustained populations across years under elevated temperature, dramatically decreasing A. philoxeroides growth, but it failed to overwinter in ambient temperature. Together, these results suggest that warming will allow the natural enemy to expand its range, potentially benefiting biocontrol in regions that are currently too cold for the natural enemy. However, the invader may also expand its range further north in response to warming. In such cases where plants tolerate cold better than their natural enemies, the geographical gap between plant and herbivorous insect ranges may not disappear but will shift to higher latitudes, leading to a new zone of enemy release. Therefore, warming will not only affect plant invasions directly but also drive either enemy release or increase that will result in contrasting effects on invasive plants. The findings are also critical for future management of invasive species under climate change.

  11. Interactions between plant traits and sediment characteristics influencing species establishment and scale-dependent feedbacks in salt marsh ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz, C.; Bouma, T. J.; Zhang, L. Q.; Temmerman, S.; Ysebaert, T.; Herman, P. M. J.

    2015-12-01

    The importance of ecosystem engineering and biogeomorphic processes in shaping many aquatic and semi-aquatic landscapes is increasingly acknowledged. Ecosystem engineering and biogeomorphic landscape formation involves two critical processes: (1) species establishment, and (2) scale-dependent feedbacks, meaning that organisms improve their living conditions on a local scale but at the same time worsen them at larger scales. However, the influence of organism traits in combination with physical factors (e.g. hydrodynamics, sediments) on early establishment and successive development due to scale-dependent feedbacks is still unclear. As a model system, this was tested for salt marsh pioneer plants by conducting flume experiments: i) on the influence of species-specific traits (such as stiffness) of two contrasting dominant pioneer species (Spartina alterniflora and Scirpus mariqueter) to withstand current-induced stress during establishment; and ii) to study the impact of species-specific traits (stiffness) and physical forcing (water level, current stress) on the large-scale negative feedback at established tussocks (induced scour at tussock edges) of the two model species. The results indicate that, not only do species-specific plant traits, such as stiffness, exert a major control on species establishment thresholds, but also potentially physiologically triggered plant properties, such as adapted root morphology due to sediment properties. Moreover, the results show a clear relation between species-specific plant traits, abiotics (i.e. sediment, currents) and the magnitude of the large-scale negative scale-dependent feedback. These findings suggest that the ecosystem engineering ability, resulting from physical plant properties can be disadvantageous for plant survival through promoted dislodgement (stem stiffness increases the amount of drag experienced at the root system), underlying the importance of scale-dependent feedbacks on landscape development.

  12. Following Darwin's trail: interactions affecting the evolution of plant mating systems.

    PubMed

    Kariyat, Rupesh R; Sinclair, Jordan P; Golenberg, Edward M

    2013-06-01

    • Since the time of Charles Darwin, the variation in floral characteristics and its effects on plant mating system evolution have fascinated scientists. Recent advances in the field of genetics, molecular biology, and ecology have been very effective in addressing questions regarding mechanisms and interactions underlying the evolution of plant mating systems using various model and nonmodel species. The depth of plant mating system research reflects the complexity and diversity seen in nature, ranging from self-compatible hermaphroditic flowers to separate sexed individuals. Further, the mechanisms involved in the evolution of plant mating systems are much more diverse and differ even among closely related species. Here, as a special section, we present a suite of original papers that range from theoretical modeling to multiyear field research that address different factors affecting plant mating systems, and their effects on shaping interactions between plants, insects, and their environment.

  13. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows

    PubMed Central

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D.; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A.; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13–15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip. PMID:27588024

  14. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows.

    PubMed

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13-15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip.

  15. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows.

    PubMed

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13-15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip. PMID:27588024

  16. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands.

  17. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands. PMID:27164912

  18. The Salicylic Acid-Mediated Release of Plant Volatiles Affects the Host Choice of Bemisia tabaci.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiaobin; Chen, Gong; Tian, Lixia; Peng, Zhengke; Xie, Wen; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Zhou, Xuguo; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the interaction between SA-induced plant volatiles and nonviruliferous B. tabaci B and Q or B- and Q-carrying tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The results showed that exogenous SA caused plants to repel nonviruliferous whiteflies, but the effect was reduced when the SA concentration was low and when the whiteflies were viruliferous. Exogenous SA increased the number and quantity of plant volatiles-especially the quantity of methyl salicylate and δ-limonene. In Y-tube olfactometer assays, methyl salicylate and δ-limonene repelled the whiteflies, but the repellency was reduced for viruliferous Q. We suggest that the release of plant volatiles as mediated by SA affects the interaction between whiteflies, plants, and viruses. Further studies are needed to determine why viruliferous Q is less sensitive than nonviruliferous Q to repellent plant volatiles. PMID:27376280

  19. The Salicylic Acid-Mediated Release of Plant Volatiles Affects the Host Choice of Bemisia tabaci

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xiaobin; Chen, Gong; Tian, Lixia; Peng, Zhengke; Xie, Wen; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Zhou, Xuguo; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the interaction between SA-induced plant volatiles and nonviruliferous B. tabaci B and Q or B- and Q-carrying tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The results showed that exogenous SA caused plants to repel nonviruliferous whiteflies, but the effect was reduced when the SA concentration was low and when the whiteflies were viruliferous. Exogenous SA increased the number and quantity of plant volatiles—especially the quantity of methyl salicylate and δ-limonene. In Y-tube olfactometer assays, methyl salicylate and δ-limonene repelled the whiteflies, but the repellency was reduced for viruliferous Q. We suggest that the release of plant volatiles as mediated by SA affects the interaction between whiteflies, plants, and viruses. Further studies are needed to determine why viruliferous Q is less sensitive than nonviruliferous Q to repellent plant volatiles. PMID:27376280

  20. Deviation from niche optima affects the nature of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Cheng, Lulu; Hu, Liangliang; Tang, Jianjun; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing recognition of the importance of niche optima in the shift of plant-plant interactions along environmental stress gradients. Here, we investigate whether deviation from niche optima would affect the outcome of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient (pH = 3.1, 4.1, 5.5 and 6.1) in a pot experiment. We used the acid-tolerant species Lespedeza formosa Koehne as the neighbouring plant and the acid-tolerant species Indigofera pseudotinctoria Mats. or acid-sensitive species Medicago sativa L. as the target plants. Biomass was used to determine the optimal pH and to calculate the relative interaction index (RII). We found that the relationships between RII and the deviation of soil pH from the target's optimal pH were linear for both target species. Both targets were increasingly promoted by the neighbour as pH values deviated from their optima; neighbours benefitted target plants by promoting soil symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increasing soil organic matter or reducing soil exchangeable aluminium. Our results suggest that the shape of the curve describing the relationship between soil pH and facilitation/competition depends on the soil pH optima of the particular species. PMID:26740568

  1. Hidden founder effects: small-scale spatial genetic structure in recently established populations of the grassland specialist plant Anthyllis vulneraria.

    PubMed

    Helsen, Kenny; Jacquemyn, Hans; Honnay, Olivier

    2015-06-01

    The long-term establishment success of founder plant populations has been commonly assessed based on the measures of population genetic diversity and among population genetic differentiation, with founder populations expected to carry sufficient genetic diversity when population establishment is the result of many colonists from multiple source populations (the 'migrant pool' colonization model). Theory, however, predicts that, after initial colonization, rapid population expansion may result in a fast increase in the extent of spatial genetic structure (SGS), independent of extant genetic diversity. This SGS can reduce long-term population viability by increasing inbreeding. Using 12 microsatellite markers, we inferred colonization patterns in four recent populations of the grassland specialist plant Anthyllis vulneraria and compared the extent of SGS between recently established and old populations. Assignment analyses of the individuals of recent population based on the genetic composition of nine adjacent putative source populations suggested the occurrence of the 'migrant pool' colonization model, further confirmed by high genetic diversity within and low genetic differentiation among recent populations. Population establishment, however, resulted in the build-up of strong SGS, most likely as a result of spatially restricted recruitment of the progeny of initial colonists. Although reduced, significant SGS was nonetheless observed to persist in old populations. The presence of SGS was in all populations associated with elevated inbreeding coefficients, potentially affecting the long-term viability of these populations. In conclusion, this study illustrates the importance of studying SGS next to population genetic diversity and differentiation to adequately infer colonization patterns and long-term establishment success of plant species.

  2. Planting geometry and plant population affect dryland maize grain yield and harvest index

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water for dryland grain production in the Texas panhandle is limited. Agronomic practices such as reduction in plant population or change in sowing time may help increase maize (Zea mays L.) yield potential. Tiller formation under dryland conditions leads to more vegetative growth and reduced yield....

  3. Genes of the most conserved WOX clade in plants affect root and flower development in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The Wuschel related homeobox (WOX) family proteins are key regulators implicated in the determination of cell fate in plants by preventing cell differentiation. A recent WOX phylogeny, based on WOX homeodomains, showed that all of the Physcomitrella patens and Selaginella moellendorffii WOX proteins clustered into a single orthologous group. We hypothesized that members of this group might preferentially share a significant part of their function in phylogenetically distant organisms. Hence, we first validated the limits of the WOX13 orthologous group (WOX13 OG) using the occurrence of other clade specific signatures and conserved intron insertion sites. Secondly, a functional analysis using expression data and mutants was undertaken. Results The WOX13 OG contained the most conserved plant WOX proteins including the only WOX detected in the highly proliferating basal unicellular and photosynthetic organism Ostreococcus tauri. A large expansion of the WOX family was observed after the separation of mosses from other land plants and before monocots and dicots have arisen. In Arabidopsis thaliana, AtWOX13 was dynamically expressed during primary and lateral root initiation and development, in gynoecium and during embryo development. AtWOX13 appeared to affect the floral transition. An intriguing clade, represented by the functional AtWOX14 gene inside the WOX13 OG, was only found in the Brassicaceae. Compared to AtWOX13, the gene expression profile of AtWOX14 was restricted to the early stages of lateral root formation and specific to developing anthers. A mutational insertion upstream of the AtWOX14 homeodomain sequence led to abnormal root development, a delay in the floral transition and premature anther differentiation. Conclusion Our data provide evidence in favor of the WOX13 OG as the clade containing the most conserved WOX genes and established a functional link to organ initiation and development in Arabidopsis, most likely by preventing premature

  4. Crop-noncrop spillover: arable fields affect trophic interactions on wild plants in surrounding habitats.

    PubMed

    Gladbach, David J; Holzschuh, Andrea; Scherber, Christoph; Thies, Carsten; Dormann, Carsten F; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-06-01

    Ecosystem processes in agricultural landscapes are often triggered by resource availability in crop and noncrop habitats. We investigated how oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus, Brassicaceae) affects noncrop plants in managed systems and semi-natural habitat, using trophic interactions among wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis, Brassicaceae), rape pollen beetles (Meligethes aeneus, Nitidulidae) and their parasitoids (Tersilochus heterocerus, Ichneumonidae). We exposed wild mustard as phytometer plants in two cropland habitat types (wheat field, field margin) and three noncrop habitat types (fallow, grassland, wood margin) across eight landscapes along a gradient from simple to complex (quantified as % arable land). Both landscape and local factors affected the abundance of rape pollen beetles and parasitoids. Rape pollen beetle infestation and parasitism rates on these plants were lower in noncrop habitats and higher in wheat fields and field margins, whereas beetles and parasitoids responded differently to landscape scale parameters. We found the hypothesized spillover from OSR crop onto wild plants in surrounding habitats only for parasitoids, but not for pollen beetles. Parasitism rates were not related to landscape simplification, but benefited from increasing proportions of OSR. In contrast, rape pollen beetles benefited from simple landscape structures, presumably due to multi-annual population build-ups resulting from long-term OSR planting (as part of the crop rotation). In conclusion, we showed that spillover from cropland affects parasitism rates on related wild plants outside cropland, which has not been shown so far, but can be expected to be a widespread effect shaping noncrop food webs.

  5. openSputnik--a database to ESTablish comparative plant genomics using unsaturated sequence collections.

    PubMed

    Rudd, Stephen

    2005-01-01

    The public expressed sequence tag collections are continually being enriched with high-quality sequences that represent an ever-expanding range of taxonomically diverse plant species. While these sequence collections provide biased insight into the populations of expressed genes available within individual species and their associated tissues, the information is conceivably of wider relevance in a comparative context. When we consider the available expressed sequence tag (EST) collections of summer 2004, most of the major plant taxonomic clades are at least superficially represented. Investigation of the five million available plant ESTs provides a wealth of information that has applications in modelling the routes of plant genome evolution and the identification of lineage-specific genes and gene families. Over four million ESTs from over 50 distinct plant species have been collated within an EST analysis pipeline called openSputnik. The ESTs were resolved down into approximately one million unigene sequences. These have been annotated using orthology-based annotation transfer from reference plant genomes and using a variety of contemporary bioinformatics methods to assign peptide, structural and functional attributes. The openSputnik database is available at http://sputnik.btk.fi. PMID:15608275

  6. Bacillus pumilus ES4: candidate plant growth-promoting bacterium to enhance establishment of plants in mine tailings

    PubMed Central

    de-Bashan, Luz E.; Hernandez, Juan-Pablo; Bashan, Yoav; Maier, Raina

    2014-01-01

    Three plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB; Bacillus pumilus ES4, B. pumilus RIZO1, and Azospirillum brasilense Cd) were tested for their ability to enhance plant growth and development of the native Sonoran Desert shrub quailbush (Atriplex lentiformis) and for their effect on the native bacterial community in moderately acidic, high-metal content (AHMT) and in neutral, low metal content natural tailings (NLMT) in controlled greenhouse experiments. Inoculation of quailbush with all three PGPB significantly enhanced plant growth parameters, such as germination, root length, dry weight of shoots and roots, and root/shoot ratio in both types of tailings. The effect of inoculation on the indigenous bacterial community by the most successful PGPB Bacillus pumilus ES4 was evaluated by denaturating gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) fingerprinting and root colonization was followed by specific fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Inoculation with this strain significantly changed the bacterial community over a period of 60 days. FISH analysis showed that the preferred site of colonization was the root tips and root elongation area. This study shows that inoculation of native perennial plants with PGPB can be used for developing technologies for phytostabilizing mine tailings. PMID:25009362

  7. Ozone affects growth and development of Pieris brassicae on the wild host plant Brassica nigra.

    PubMed

    Khaling, Eliezer; Papazian, Stefano; Poelman, Erik H; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Albrectsen, Benedicte R; Blande, James D

    2015-04-01

    When plants are exposed to ozone they exhibit changes in both primary and secondary metabolism, which may affect their interactions with herbivorous insects. Here we investigated the performance and preferences of the specialist herbivore Pieris brassicae on the wild plant Brassica nigra under elevated ozone conditions. The direct and indirect effects of ozone on the plant-herbivore system were studied. In both cases ozone exposure had a negative effect on P. brassicae development. However, in dual-choice tests larvae preferentially consumed plant material previously fumigated with the highest concentration tested, showing a lack of correlation between larval preference and performance on ozone exposed plants. Metabolomic analysis of leaf material subjected to combinations of ozone and herbivore-feeding, and focussing on known defence metabolites, indicated that P. brassicae behaviour and performance were associated with ozone-induced alterations to glucosinolate and phenolic pools.

  8. Ozone affects growth and development of Pieris brassicae on the wild host plant Brassica nigra.

    PubMed

    Khaling, Eliezer; Papazian, Stefano; Poelman, Erik H; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Albrectsen, Benedicte R; Blande, James D

    2015-04-01

    When plants are exposed to ozone they exhibit changes in both primary and secondary metabolism, which may affect their interactions with herbivorous insects. Here we investigated the performance and preferences of the specialist herbivore Pieris brassicae on the wild plant Brassica nigra under elevated ozone conditions. The direct and indirect effects of ozone on the plant-herbivore system were studied. In both cases ozone exposure had a negative effect on P. brassicae development. However, in dual-choice tests larvae preferentially consumed plant material previously fumigated with the highest concentration tested, showing a lack of correlation between larval preference and performance on ozone exposed plants. Metabolomic analysis of leaf material subjected to combinations of ozone and herbivore-feeding, and focussing on known defence metabolites, indicated that P. brassicae behaviour and performance were associated with ozone-induced alterations to glucosinolate and phenolic pools. PMID:25645061

  9. Fusarium Oxysporum Volatiles Enhance Plant Growth Via Affecting Auxin Transport and Signaling.

    PubMed

    Bitas, Vasileios; McCartney, Nathaniel; Li, Ningxiao; Demers, Jill; Kim, Jung-Eun; Kim, Hye-Seon; Brown, Kathleen M; Kang, Seogchan

    2015-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have well-documented roles in plant-plant communication and directing animal behavior. In this study, we examine the less understood roles of VOCs in plant-fungal relationships. Phylogenetically and ecologically diverse strains of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal species complex that often resides in the rhizosphere of assorted plants, produce volatile compounds that augment shoot and root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco. Growth responses of A. thaliana hormone signaling mutants and expression patterns of a GUS reporter gene under the auxin-responsive DR5 promoter supported the involvement of auxin signaling in F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement. In addition, 1-naphthylthalamic acid, an inhibitor of auxin efflux, negated F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement in both plants. Comparison of the profiles of volatile compounds produced by F. oxysporum strains that differentially affected plant growth suggests that the relative compositions of both growth inhibitory and stimulatory compounds may determine the degree of plant growth enhancement. Volatile-mediated signaling between fungi and plants may represent a potentially conserved, yet mostly overlooked, mechanism underpinning plant-fungus interactions and fungal niche adaption. PMID:26617587

  10. Ontogenetic shifts in plant interactions vary with environmental severity and affect population structure.

    PubMed

    le Roux, Peter C; Shaw, Justine D; Chown, Steven L

    2013-10-01

    Environmental conditions and plant size may both alter the outcome of inter-specific plant-plant interactions, with seedlings generally facilitated more strongly than larger individuals in stressful habitats. However, the combined impact of plant size and environmental severity on interactions is poorly understood. Here, we tested explicitly for the first time the hypothesis that ontogenetic shifts in interactions are delayed under increasingly severe conditions by examining the interaction between a grass, Agrostis magellanica, and a cushion plant, Azorella selago, along two severity gradients. The impact of A. selago on A. magellanica abundance, but not reproductive effort, was related to A. magellanica size, with a trend for delayed shifts towards more negative interactions under greater environmental severity. Intermediate-sized individuals were most strongly facilitated, leading to differences in the size-class distribution of A. magellanica on the soil and on A. selago. The A. magellanica size-class distribution was more strongly affected by A. selago than by environmental severity, demonstrating that the plant-plant interaction impacts A. magellanica population structure more strongly than habitat conditions. As ontogenetic shifts in plant-plant interactions cannot be assumed to be constant across severity gradients and may impact species population structure, studies examining the outcome of interactions need to consider the potential for size- or age-related variation in competition and facilitation.

  11. Plant volatiles induced by herbivore egg deposition affect insects of different trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Fatouros, Nina E; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Pashalidou, Foteini G; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant's volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels. PMID:22912893

  12. Fusarium Oxysporum Volatiles Enhance Plant Growth Via Affecting Auxin Transport and Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bitas, Vasileios; McCartney, Nathaniel; Li, Ningxiao; Demers, Jill; Kim, Jung-Eun; Kim, Hye-Seon; Brown, Kathleen M.; Kang, Seogchan

    2015-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have well-documented roles in plant-plant communication and directing animal behavior. In this study, we examine the less understood roles of VOCs in plant-fungal relationships. Phylogenetically and ecologically diverse strains of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal species complex that often resides in the rhizosphere of assorted plants, produce volatile compounds that augment shoot and root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco. Growth responses of A. thaliana hormone signaling mutants and expression patterns of a GUS reporter gene under the auxin-responsive DR5 promoter supported the involvement of auxin signaling in F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement. In addition, 1-naphthylthalamic acid, an inhibitor of auxin efflux, negated F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement in both plants. Comparison of the profiles of volatile compounds produced by F. oxysporum strains that differentially affected plant growth suggests that the relative compositions of both growth inhibitory and stimulatory compounds may determine the degree of plant growth enhancement. Volatile-mediated signaling between fungi and plants may represent a potentially conserved, yet mostly overlooked, mechanism underpinning plant-fungus interactions and fungal niche adaption. PMID:26617587

  13. Methyl esterification of pectin plays a role during plant-pathogen interactions and affects plant resistance to diseases.

    PubMed

    Lionetti, Vincenzo; Cervone, Felice; Bellincampi, Daniela

    2012-11-01

    The cell wall is a complex structure mainly composed by a cellulose-hemicellulose network embedded in a cohesive pectin matrix. Pectin is synthesized in a highly methyl esterified form and is de-esterified in muro by pectin methyl esterases (PMEs). The degree and pattern of methyl esterification affect the cell wall structure and properties with consequences on both the physiological processes of the plants and their resistance to pathogens. PME activity displays a crucial role in the outcome of the plant-pathogen interactions by making pectin more susceptible to the action of the enzymes produced by the pathogens. This review focuses on the impact of pectin methyl esterification in plant-pathogen interactions and on the dynamic role of its alteration during pathogenesis.

  14. Feasibility of establishing a 100-ton per day sunflower seed crushing plant at Clifford, North Dakota

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-10-01

    Considerable interest is currently being shown in the concept of local processing of agricultural products. The production of sunflowers in North Dakota has shown tremendous growth over the past years. Cash receipts from sunflowers have made it the second most important cash crop in the state. It is felt that the plant can be justified as an energy producing facility. A sunflower crushing plant has to be feasible when competing as a producer of oil within traditional markets. The use of the oil as a source of energy is to be considered as an intangible benefit to the community, if sunflower oil is found to be an acceptable fuel.

  15. Effects of Soil Characteristics, Allelopathy and Frugivory on Establishment of the Invasive Plant Carpobrotus edulis and a Co-Occuring Native, Malcolmia littorea

    PubMed Central

    Novoa, Ana; González, Luís; Moravcová, Lenka; Pyšek, Petr

    2012-01-01

    Background The species Carpobrotus edulis, native to South Africa, is one of the major plant invaders of Mediterranean coastal ecosystems around the world. Invasion by C. edulis exerts a great impact on coastal habitats. The low number of native species in invaded communities points to the possible existence of mechanisms suppressing their germination. In this study we assessed whether soil factors, endozoochory, competition and allelopathic effects of the invader affect its own early establishment and that of the native species Malcolmia littorea. We used laboratory solutions representing different chemical composition and moisture of the soil, herbivore feeding assays to simulate seed scarification and rainwater solutions to account for the effect of differently aged C. edulis litter. Principal Findings We show that unlike that of the native species, germination and early growth of C. edulis was not constrained by low moisture. The establishment of C. edulis, in terms of germination and early growth, was increased by scarification of seeds following passage through the European rabbit intestines; the rabbits therefore may have potential implications for plant establishment. There was no competition between C. edulis and M. littorea. The litter of the invasive C. edulis, which remains on the soil surface for several years, releases allelopathic substances that suppress the native plant germination process and early root growth. Conclusions The invasive species exhibits features that likely make it a better colonizer of sand dunes than the co-occurring native species. Allelopathic effects, ability to establish in drier microsites and efficient scarification by rabbits are among the mechanisms allowing C. edulis to invade. The results help to explain the failure of removal projects that have been carried out in order to restore dunes invaded by C. edulis, and the long-lasting effects of C. edulis litter need to be taken into account in future restoration projects

  16. Soil Particle Heterogeneity Affects the Growth of a Rhizomatous Wetland Plant

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Wei; Peng, Yi-Ke; Zhang, Ming-Xiang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2013-01-01

    Soil is commonly composed of particles of different sizes, and soil particle size may greatly affect the growth of plants because it affects soil physical and chemical properties. However, no study has tested the effects of soil particle heterogeneity on the growth of clonal plants. We conducted a greenhouse experiment in which individual ramets of the wetland plant Bolboschoenus planiculmis were grown in three homogeneous soil treatments with uniformly sized quartz particles (small: 0.75 mm, medium: 1.5 mm, or large: 3 mm), one homogeneous treatment with an even mixture of large and medium particles, and two heterogeneous treatments consisting of 16 or 4 patches of large and medium particles. Biomass, ramet number, rhizome length and spacer length were significantly greater in the treatment with only medium particles than in the one with only large particles. Biomass, ramet number, rhizome length and tuber number in the patchy treatments were greater in patches of medium than of large particles; this difference was more pronounced when patches were small than when they were large. Soil particle size and soil particle heterogeneity can greatly affect the growth of clonal plants. Thus, studies to test the effects of soil heterogeneity on clonal plants should distinguish the effects of nutrient heterogeneity from those of particle heterogeneity. PMID:23936110

  17. Relative abundance of an invasive alien plant affects insect-flower interaction networks in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, Jane C.; Casey, Leanne M.

    2014-02-01

    Invasive alien flowering plants may affect native plant pollinator interactions and have knock on impacts on populations of native plants and animals. The magnitude of these impacts, however, may be modified by the relative abundance of the invasive plant and the number of flowers it presents.We tested this by examining the structure of insect-flower interaction networks in six sites with increasing levels of invasion by Rhododendron ponticum in Ireland.Neither flower-visiting insect abundance, species richness nor diversity were related to R. ponticum flower abundance, but the composition of insect communities was. The total number of flowers in a site increased with the relative abundance of R. ponticum flowers but the number of co-flowering native plant species in these sites was low (<6), making interaction networks relatively small.As a result, changes in interaction network properties (connectance, interaction evenness and network level specialisation), which correlated with R. ponticum flower abundance, were a result of the small network size rather than due to changes in the resilience of networks.Overall, we conclude that the impacts of invasive alien plants on native plant-pollinator interactions are not only species specific, but site specific, according to the abundance of flowers produced by both the invasive and the native plants.

  18. Plant Volatiles Induced by Herbivore Egg Deposition Affect Insects of Different Trophic Levels

    PubMed Central

    Fatouros, Nina E.; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T.; Pashalidou, Foteini G.; van Loon, Joop J. A.; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E.

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant’s volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels. PMID:22912893

  19. Exogenous abscisic acid significantly affects proteome in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) exposed to drought stress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is an important economic crop, and drought is the most important abiotic stress affecting yield and quality. Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone responsible for activating drought resistance. Increased understanding of ABA effects on tea plant unde...

  20. Poisonous plants affecting the central nervous system of horses in Brazil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Poisoning by Indigofera pascuori was recently reported in horses in the state of Roraima. It causes chronic signs of sleepiness, unsteady gait, severe ataxia, and progressive weight loss. Some animals are blind. Young horses are more affected than adults. After the end of plant consumption the anima...

  1. Using carbon-13 to establish the biosynthesis of the plant toxin fusaric acid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum (F.o.v.) attacks cotton, alfalfa and okra. The recent discovery of new pathotypes (race 4) not previously found in the U.S. is of particular concern to the cotton industry, as is the inadvertent introduction of a unique and particularly virul...

  2. Establish the biosynthesis of the plant toxin Fusaric Acid using non-radio labeled precursors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum (F.o.v.) race 1 is a widespread plant pathogen that attacks cotton, alfalfa and okra in the U.S. The recent discovery of races 3 and 4 not previously found in the U.S. is of particular concern to the cotton industry. In addition, a similar but more virulent bi...

  3. Inoculation of Transgenic Resistant Potato by Phytophthora infestans Affects Host Plant Choice of a Generalist Moth.

    PubMed

    Abreha, Kibrom B; Alexandersson, Erik; Vossen, Jack H; Anderson, Peter; Andreasson, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Pathogen attack and the plant's response to this attack affect herbivore oviposition preference and larval performance. Introduction of major resistance genes against Phytophthora infestans (Rpi-genes), the cause of the devastating late blight disease, from wild Solanum species into potato changes the plant-pathogen interaction dynamics completely, but little is known about the effects on non-target organisms. Thus, we examined the effect of P. infestans itself and introduction of an Rpi-gene into the crop on host plant preference of the generalist insect herbivore, Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). In two choice bioassays, S. littoralis preferred to oviposit on P. infestans-inoculated plants of both the susceptible potato (cv. Desiree) and an isogenic resistant clone (A01-22: cv. Desiree transformed with Rpi-blb1), when compared to uninoculated plants of the same genotype. Both cv. Desiree and clone A01-22 were equally preferred for oviposition by S. littoralis when uninoculated plants were used, while cv. Desiree received more eggs compared to the resistant clone when both were inoculated with the pathogen. No significant difference in larval and pupal weight was found between S. littoralis larvae reared on leaves of the susceptible potato plants inoculated or uninoculated with P. infestans. Thus, the herbivore's host plant preference in this system was not directly associated with larval performance. The results indicate that the Rpi-blb1 based resistance in itself does not influence insect behavior, but that herbivore oviposition preference is affected by a change in the plant-microbe interaction. PMID:26053171

  4. Methane transport and emissions from soil as affected by water table and vascular plants

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The important greenhouse gas (GHG) methane is produced naturally in anaerobic wetland soils. By affecting the production, oxidation and transport of methane to the atmosphere, plants have a major influence upon the quantities emitted by wetlands. Different species and functional plant groups have been shown to affect these processes differently, but our knowledge about how these effects are influenced by abiotic factors such as water regime and temperature remains limited. Here we present a mesocosm experiment comparing eight plant species for their effects on internal transport and overall emissions of methane under contrasting hydrological conditions. To quantify how much methane was transported internally through plants (the chimney effect), we blocked diffusion from the soil surface with an agar seal. Results We found that graminoids caused higher methane emissions than forbs, although the emissions from mesocosms with different species were either lower than or comparable to those from control mesocosms with no plant (i.e. bare soil). Species with a relatively greater root volume and a larger biomass exhibited a larger chimney effect, though overall methane emissions were negatively related to plant biomass. Emissions were also reduced by lowering the water table. Conclusions We conclude that plant species (and functional groups) vary in the degree to which they transport methane to the atmosphere. However, a plant with a high capacity to transport methane does not necessarily emit more methane, as it may also cause more rhizosphere oxidation of methane. A shift in plant species composition from graminoids to forbs and/or from low to high productive species may lead to reduction of methane emissions. PMID:24010540

  5. Warming, CO2, and nitrogen deposition interactively affect a plant-pollinator mutualism.

    PubMed

    Hoover, Shelley E R; Ladley, Jenny J; Shchepetkina, Anastasia A; Tisch, Maggie; Gieseg, Steven P; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2012-03-01

    Environmental changes threaten plant-pollinator mutualisms and their critical ecosystem service. Drivers such as land use, invasions and climate change can affect pollinator diversity or species encounter rates. However, nitrogen deposition, climate warming and CO(2) enrichment could interact to disrupt this crucial mutualism by altering plant chemistry in ways that alter floral attractiveness or even nutritional rewards for pollinators. Using a pumpkin model system, we show that these drivers non-additively affect flower morphology, phenology, flower sex ratios and nectar chemistry (sugar and amino acids), thereby altering the attractiveness of nectar to bumble bee pollinators and reducing worker longevity. Alarmingly, bees were attracted to, and consumed more, nectar from a treatment that reduced their survival by 22%. Thus, three of the five major drivers of global environmental change have previously unknown interactive effects on plant-pollinator mutualisms that could not be predicted from studies of individual drivers in isolation.

  6. Color of illumination during growth affects LHCII chiral macroaggregates in pea plant leaves.

    PubMed

    Gussakovsky, Eugene E; Shahak, Yosepha; Schroeder, Dana F

    2007-02-01

    To determine whether the color of illumination under which plants are grown, affects the structure of photosynthetic antennae, pea plants were grown under either blue-enriched, red-enriched, or white light. Carotenoid content of isolated chloroplasts was found to be insensitive to the color of illumination during growth, while chlorophyll a/b ratio in chloroplasts isolated from young illuminated leaves showed susceptibility to color. Color of illumination affects the LHCII chiral macroaggregates in intact leaves and isolated chloroplasts, providing light-induced alteration of the handedness of the LHCII chiral macroaggregate, as measured with circular dichroism and circularly polarized luminescence. The susceptibility of handedness to current illumination (red light excitation of chlorophyll fluorescence) is dependent on the color under which the plants were grown, and was maximal for the red-enriched illumination. We propose the existence of a long-term (growth period) color memory, which influences the susceptibility of the handedness of LHCII chiral macroaggregates to current light.

  7. The role of flavonoids in the establishment of plant roots endosymbioses with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi, rhizobia and Frankia bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Abdel-Lateif, Khalid; Bogusz, Didier; Hocher, Valérie

    2012-01-01

    Flavonoids are a group of secondary metabolites derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway. They are ubiquitous in the plant kingdom and have many diverse functions including key roles at different levels of root endosymbioses. While there is a lot of information on the role of particular flavonoids in the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, yet their exact role during the establishment of arbuscular mycorrhiza and actinorhizal symbioses still remains unclear. Within the context of the latest data suggesting a common symbiotic signaling pathway for both plant-fungal and plant bacterial endosymbioses between legumes and actinorhiza-forming fagales, this mini-review highlights some of the recent studies on the three major types of root endosymbioses. Implication of the molecular knowledge of endosymbioses signaling and genetic manipulation of flavonoid biosynthetic pathway on the development of strategies for the transfer and optimization of nodulation are also discussed. PMID:22580697

  8. The role of flavonoids in the establishment of plant roots endosymbioses with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi, rhizobia and Frankia bacteria.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Lateif, Khalid; Bogusz, Didier; Hocher, Valérie

    2012-06-01

    Flavonoids are a group of secondary metabolites derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway. They are ubiquitous in the plant kingdom and have many diverse functions including key roles at different levels of root endosymbioses. While there is a lot of information on the role of particular flavonoids in the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, yet their exact role during the establishment of arbuscular mycorrhiza and actinorhizal symbioses still remains unclear. Within the context of the latest data suggesting a common symbiotic signaling pathway for both plant-fungal and plant bacterial endosymbioses between legumes and actinorhiza-forming fagales, this mini-review highlights some of the recent studies on the three major types of root endosymbioses. Implication of the molecular knowledge of endosymbioses signaling and genetic manipulation of flavonoid biosynthetic pathway on the development of strategies for the transfer and optimization of nodulation are also discussed.

  9. The role of flavonoids in the establishment of plant roots endosymbioses with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi, rhizobia and Frankia bacteria.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Lateif, Khalid; Bogusz, Didier; Hocher, Valérie

    2012-06-01

    Flavonoids are a group of secondary metabolites derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway. They are ubiquitous in the plant kingdom and have many diverse functions including key roles at different levels of root endosymbioses. While there is a lot of information on the role of particular flavonoids in the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, yet their exact role during the establishment of arbuscular mycorrhiza and actinorhizal symbioses still remains unclear. Within the context of the latest data suggesting a common symbiotic signaling pathway for both plant-fungal and plant bacterial endosymbioses between legumes and actinorhiza-forming fagales, this mini-review highlights some of the recent studies on the three major types of root endosymbioses. Implication of the molecular knowledge of endosymbioses signaling and genetic manipulation of flavonoid biosynthetic pathway on the development of strategies for the transfer and optimization of nodulation are also discussed. PMID:22580697

  10. How Do Earthworms, Soil Texture and Plant Composition Affect Infiltration along an Experimental Plant Diversity Gradient in Grassland?

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Christine; Roscher, Christiane; Jensen, Britta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Baade, Jussi; Attinger, Sabine; Scheu, Stefan; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Schumacher, Jens; Hildebrandt, Anke

    2014-01-01

    Background Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of different plant species (1, 4, and 16 species) and plant functional group richness and composition (1 to 4 groups; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs). In summer, earthworm presence significantly increased infiltration, whereas in fall effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration were due to plant-mediated changes in earthworm biomass. Effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration even reversed effects of texture. We propose two pathways: (i) direct, probably by modifying the pore spectrum and (ii) indirect, by enhancing or suppressing earthworm biomass, which in turn influenced infiltration capacity due to change in burrowing activity of earthworms. Conclusions/Significance Overall, the results suggest that spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties can be explained by biotic processes, especially the presence of certain plant functional groups affecting earthworm biomass, while soil texture had no significant effect. Therefore biotic parameters should be taken into account in hydrological applications. PMID:24918943

  11. EVALUATION OF LITERATURE ESTABLISHING SCREENING LEVELS FOR TERRESTRIAL PLANTS/INVERTEBRATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scientific publications often lack key information on experimental design or do not follow appropriate test methods and therefore cannot be used in deriving reliable benchmarks. Risk based soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) are being established for chemicals of concern to terrestr...

  12. The ABC's required for establishing a practical computerized plant engineering management data base system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maiocco, F. R.; Hume, J. P.

    1976-01-01

    A system's approach is outlined in the paper to assist facility and Plant Engineers improve their organization's data management system. The six basic steps identified may appear somewhat simple; however, adequate planning, proper resources, and the involvement of management will determine the success of a computerized facility management data base. Helpful suggestions are noted throughout the paper to insure the development of a practical computerized data management system.

  13. Phytostabilization of gold mine tailings, New Zealand. Part 1: Plant establishment in alkaline saline substrate.

    PubMed

    Mains, D; Craw, D; Rufaut, C G; Smith, C M S

    2006-01-01

    Tailings from the Macraes mine, southern New Zealand, are prone to wind erosion. Use of a vegetation cover for physical stabilization is one potential solution to this environmental problem. This study used field trials contained in lysimeters to 1), test the ability of different plant species to grow in un/amended tailings and 2), provide background information on the nutrient and chemical content of waters in tailings. Barley (Hordeum vulgare), blue lupin (Lupinus angustifolius), and rye corn (Secale cereale) were trialed, using Superphosphate fertilizer and sewage sludge as amendments. Rye corn grew well in fertilizer-amended tailings, but poorly in unamended tailings; barley growth was similar in amended and unamended tailings; blue lupins grew poorly overall The tailings had alkaline pH (7-8.5) and water rapidly (< 1 mo) interacted with the tailings to become strongly saline. Minor acid generation was neutralized by calcite, with associated release of calcium and carbonate ions. Leachate waters were supersaturated with respect to calcite and dolomite. Dissolved sodium concentrations were up to 1000 mg L(-1), but elevated Ca2+ calcium and Mg2+ ensured that sodicity was lower than plant-toxic levels. Rye corn is a potentially useful plant for rapid phytostabilization of tailings, with only minor phosphate amendment required.

  14. Inoculation of Transgenic Resistant Potato by Phytophthora infestans Affects Host Plant Choice of a Generalist Moth

    PubMed Central

    Abreha, Kibrom B.; Alexandersson, Erik; Vossen, Jack H.; Anderson, Peter; Andreasson, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Pathogen attack and the plant’s response to this attack affect herbivore oviposition preference and larval performance. Introduction of major resistance genes against Phytophthora infestans (Rpi-genes), the cause of the devastating late blight disease, from wild Solanum species into potato changes the plant-pathogen interaction dynamics completely, but little is known about the effects on non-target organisms. Thus, we examined the effect of P. infestans itself and introduction of an Rpi-gene into the crop on host plant preference of the generalist insect herbivore, Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). In two choice bioassays, S. littoralis preferred to oviposit on P. infestans-inoculated plants of both the susceptible potato (cv. Desiree) and an isogenic resistant clone (A01-22: cv. Desiree transformed with Rpi-blb1), when compared to uninoculated plants of the same genotype. Both cv. Desiree and clone A01-22 were equally preferred for oviposition by S. littoralis when uninoculated plants were used, while cv. Desiree received more eggs compared to the resistant clone when both were inoculated with the pathogen. No significant difference in larval and pupal weight was found between S. littoralis larvae reared on leaves of the susceptible potato plants inoculated or uninoculated with P. infestans. Thus, the herbivore’s host plant preference in this system was not directly associated with larval performance. The results indicate that the Rpi-blb1 based resistance in itself does not influence insect behavior, but that herbivore oviposition preference is affected by a change in the plant-microbe interaction. PMID:26053171

  15. 4-Methylthiobutyl isothiocyanate (Erucin) from rocket plant dichotomously affects the activity of human immunocompetent cells.

    PubMed

    Gründemann, Carsten; Garcia-Käufer, Manuel; Lamy, Evelyn; Hanschen, Franziska S; Huber, Roman

    2015-03-15

    Isothiocyanates (ITC) from the Brassicaceae plant family are regarded as promising for prevention and treatment of cancer. However, experimental settings consider their therapeutic action without taking into account the risk of unwanted effects on healthy tissues. In the present study we investigated the effects of Eruca sativa seed extract containing MTBITC (Erucin) and pure Erucin from rocket plant on healthy cells of the human immune system in vitro. Hereby, high doses of the plant extract as well as of Erucin inhibited cell viability of human lymphocytes via induction of apoptosis to comparable amounts. Non-toxic low concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin altered the expression of the interleukin (IL)-2 receptor but did not affect further T cell activation, proliferation and the release of the effector molecules interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-2 of T-lymphocytes. However, the activity of NK-cells was significantly reduced by non-toxic concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin. These results indicate that the plant extract and pure Erucin interfere with the function of human T lymphocytes and decreases the activity of NK-cells in comparable concentrations. Long-term clinical studies with ITC-enriched plant extracts from Brassicaceae should take this into account.

  16. Secondary metabolites from nonhost plants affect the motility and viability of phytopathogenic Aphanomyces cochlioides zoospores.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Tofazzal

    2008-01-01

    The motile zoospores of the damping-off pathogen Aphanomyces cochlioides aggregate on host plants (e.g., sugar beet, spinach) guided by the host-specific plant signal cochliophilin A before infection. To assess the potential role of secondary metabolites in nonhost resistance, acetone extracts of 200 nonhost traditional medicinal plants from Chinese and Bangladeshi origins were tested for the motility behaviour of A. cochlioides zoospores using a particle bioassay method. Nearly one third of the tested plant extracts exhibited diverse deleterious activities such as repellent, stimulant, motility halting and lysis against A. cochlioides zoospores. Among these active plants, an extract of the Chinese medicinal plant Dalbergia odorifera displayed potent repellent activity toward zoospores. Chromatographic separation of D. odorifera constituents revealed that the repellent activity was regulated by the cumulative effect of three motility-affecting isoflavonoids, viz. (+/-)-medicarpin (repellent at 150 microg/ml), (-)-claussequinone (stimulant at 100 microg/ml) and formononetin (stimulant and attractant at 50 microg/ml). A mixture (1:1:1, w/w/w) of these three compounds exhibited only repellent activity toward zoospores at a concentration lower than 50 microg/ml. These results suggest that nonhost plants might possess potential bioactive secondary metabolites to ward off zoosporic phytopathogens. PMID:18533468

  17. Quantification of Heavy Metals in Mining Affected Soil and Their Bioaccumulation in Native Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Khan, Kifayatullah; Huang, Qing; Ali, Roshan

    2015-01-01

    Several anthropogenic and natural sources are considered as the primary sources of toxic metals in the environment. The current study investigates the level of heavy metals contamination in the flora associated with serpentine soil along the Mafic and Ultramafic rocks northern-Pakistan. Soil and wild native plant species were collected from chromites mining affected areas and analyzed for heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Fe, Mn, Co, Cu and Zn) using atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS-PEA-700). The heavy metal concentrations were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in mine affected soil as compared to reference soil, however Cr and Ni exceeded maximum allowable limit (250 and 60 mg kg(-1), respectively) set by SEPA for soil. Inter-metal correlations between soil, roots and shoots showed that the sources of contamination of heavy metals were mainly associated with chromites mining. All the plant species accumulated significantly higher concentrations of heavy metals as compared to reference plant. The open dumping of mine wastes can create serious problems (food crops and drinking water contamination with heavy metals) for local community of the study area. The native wild plant species (Nepeta cataria, Impatiens bicolor royle, Tegetis minuta) growing on mining affected sites may be used for soil reclamation contaminated with heavy metals.

  18. Quantification of Heavy Metals in Mining Affected Soil and Their Bioaccumulation in Native Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Khan, Kifayatullah; Huang, Qing; Ali, Roshan

    2015-01-01

    Several anthropogenic and natural sources are considered as the primary sources of toxic metals in the environment. The current study investigates the level of heavy metals contamination in the flora associated with serpentine soil along the Mafic and Ultramafic rocks northern-Pakistan. Soil and wild native plant species were collected from chromites mining affected areas and analyzed for heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Fe, Mn, Co, Cu and Zn) using atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS-PEA-700). The heavy metal concentrations were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in mine affected soil as compared to reference soil, however Cr and Ni exceeded maximum allowable limit (250 and 60 mg kg(-1), respectively) set by SEPA for soil. Inter-metal correlations between soil, roots and shoots showed that the sources of contamination of heavy metals were mainly associated with chromites mining. All the plant species accumulated significantly higher concentrations of heavy metals as compared to reference plant. The open dumping of mine wastes can create serious problems (food crops and drinking water contamination with heavy metals) for local community of the study area. The native wild plant species (Nepeta cataria, Impatiens bicolor royle, Tegetis minuta) growing on mining affected sites may be used for soil reclamation contaminated with heavy metals. PMID:26079739

  19. Plant sterols: factors affecting their efficacy and safety as functional food ingredients

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Alvin; Jones, Peter JH; Abumweis, Suhad S

    2004-01-01

    Plant sterols are naturally occurring molecules that humanity has evolved with. Herein, we have critically evaluated recent literature pertaining to the myriad of factors affecting efficacy and safety of plant sterols in free and esterified forms. We conclude that properly solubilized 4-desmetyl plant sterols, in ester or free form, in reasonable doses (0.8–1.0 g of equivalents per day) and in various vehicles including natural sources, and as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, are important dietary components for lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and maintaining good heart health. In addition to their cholesterol lowering properties, plant sterols possess anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenicity, and anti-oxidation activities, and should thus be of clinical importance, even for those individuals without elevated LDL cholesterol. The carotenoid lowering effect of plant sterols should be corrected by increasing intake of food that is rich in carotenoids. In pregnant and lactating women and children, further study is needed to verify the dose required to decrease blood cholesterol without affecting fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid status. PMID:15070410

  20. Khazar Iodine Production Plant Site Remediation in Turkmenistan. NORM Contaminated Waste Repository Establishment - 12398

    SciTech Connect

    Gelbutovskiy, Alexander B.; Cheremisin, Peter I.; Troshev, Alexander V.; Egorov, Alexander J.; Boriskin, Mikhail M.; Bogod, Mikhail A.

    2012-07-01

    Radiation safety provisions for NORM contaminated areas are in use in a number of the former Soviet republics. Some of these areas were formed by absorbed radionuclides at the iodine and bromine extraction sites. As a rule, there are not any plant radiation monitoring systems nor appropriate services to ensure personnel, population and environmental radiation safety. The most hazardous sites are those which are situated in the Caspian Sea coastal zone. The bulk of the accumulated waste is represented by a loose mixture of sand and charcoal, which was basically used as the iodine extraction sorbent. The amounts of these wastes were estimated to be approximately 20,000 metric tons. The waste contamination is mainly composed of Ra-226 (U-238 decay series) and Ra-224, Ra-228 (Th-232 decay series). In 2009, the 'ECOMET-S', a Closed Joint-Stock Company from St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, was authorized by the Turkmenistan government to launch the rehabilitation project. The project includes D and D activities, contaminated areas remediation, collected wastes safe transportation to the repository and its disposal following repository closure. The work at the Khazar chemical plant started in September, 2010. Comprehensive radiological surveys to estimate the waste quantities were carried out in advance. In course of the rehabilitation work at the site of the Khazar chemical plant additional waste quantities (5,000 MT, 10,000 m{sup 3}) were discovered after the sludge was dumped and drained. Disposal volumes for this waste was not provided initially. The additional volume of the construction wastes was required in order to accommodate all the waste to be disposed. For the larger disposal volume the project design enterprise VNIPIET, offered to erect a second wall outside the existing one and this solution was adopted. As of May, 2011, 40,575 m{sup 3} of contaminated waste were collected and disposed safely. This volume represents 96.6% of the initial repository volume

  1. Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    He, Hanzi; de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Snoek, L. Basten; Schnabel, Sabine; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk; Bentsink, Leónie

    2014-01-01

    Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits. PMID:25240065

  2. Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    He, Hanzi; de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Snoek, L Basten; Schnabel, Sabine; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk; Bentsink, Leónie

    2014-12-01

    Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits.

  3. Plant-bacteria bioremediation agents affect the response of plant bioindicators independent of 2-chlorobenzoic acid degradation

    SciTech Connect

    Siciliano, S.D.; Germida, J.J.

    1995-12-31

    Plants are known to degrade toxicants in soil and are potentially useful bioremediation agents. The authors developed plant-bacteria associations (e.g., Meadow brome [Bromus riparius] and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain R75) that degrade 2-chlorobenzoic acid (2CBA) in soil, and assessed their success using Slender wheatgrass (Agropyron trachycaulum) germination as a bioindicator of 2CBA levels. Gas chromatography was used to chemically assess 2CBA levels. Specific plant-bacteria bioremediation treatments decreased soil 2CBA levels by 17 to 52%, but bioindicator response did not correspond to chemical analysis. Contaminated and uncontaminated soil was subjected to bioremediation treatments. After 42 days, uncontaminated soil was collected and amended to various 2CBA levels. This soil and the remediated soil were analyzed by the plant bioindicator and gas chromatography. Bioremediation treatments altered germination of Slender wheatgrass in both contaminated and noncontaminated soils to a similar extent. These treatments decreased the toxicity of 2CBA to Slender wheatgrass in both contaminated and noncontaminated soils to a similar extent. These treatments decreased the toxicity of 2CBA to Slender wheatgrass at low 2CBA levels, but increased the toxicity of 2CBA at high 2CBA levels. For example, germination in soil subjected to the Meadow brome and R75 treatment was increased by ca. 30% at 50 mg kg{sup {minus}1} 2CBA, but decreased by ca. 50% at 150 mg kg{sup {minus}1} 2CBA. The results indicate that specific plant-bacteria bioremediation treatments affect plant bioindicator response independent of 2CBA degradation, and may confound efforts to determine the toxicity of 2CBA in soil.

  4. Salicylic acid negatively affects the response to salt stress in pea plants.

    PubMed

    Barba-Espín, G; Clemente-Moreno, M J; Alvarez, S; García-Legaz, M F; Hernández, J A; Díaz-Vivancos, P

    2011-11-01

    We studied the effect of salicylic acid (SA) treatment on the response of pea plants to salinity. Sodium chloride (NaCl)-induced damage to leaves was increased by SA, which was correlated with a reduction in plant growth. The content of reduced ascorbate and glutathione in leaves of salt-treated plants increased in response to SA, although accumulation of the respective oxidised forms occurred. An increase in hydrogen peroxide also occurred in leaves of salt-exposed plants treated with SA. In the absence of NaCl, SA increased ascorbate peroxidase (APX; 100 μm) and glutathione-S transferase (GST; 50 μm) activities and increased catalase (CAT) activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Salinity decreased glutathione reductase (GR) activity, but increased GST and CAT activity. In salt-stressed plants, SA also produced changes in antioxidative enzymes: 100 μm SA decreased APX but increased GST. Finally, a concentration-dependent increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was induced by SA treatment in salt-stressed plants. Induction of PR-1b was observed in NaCl-stressed plants treated with SA. The treatment with SA, as well as the interaction between salinity and SA treatment, had a significant effect on PsMAPK3 expression. The expression of PsMAPK3 was not altered by 70 mm NaCl, but was statistically higher in the absence than in the presence of SA. Overall, the results show that SA treatment negatively affected the response of pea plants to NaCl, and this response correlated with an imbalance in antioxidant metabolism. The data also show that SA treatment could enhance the resistance of salt-stressed plants to possible opportunistic pathogen attack, as suggested by increased PR-1b gene expression.

  5. Growth, nitrogen uptake and flow in maize plants affected by root growth restriction.

    PubMed

    Xu, Liangzheng; Niu, Junfang; Li, Chunjian; Zhang, Fusuo

    2009-07-01

    The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of a reduced maize root-system size on root growth and nitrogen (N) uptake and flow within plants. Restriction of shoot-borne root growth caused a strong decrease in the absorption of root: shoot dry weight ratio and a reduction in shoot growth. On the other hand, compensatory growth and an increased N uptake rate in the remaining roots were observed. Despite the limited long-distance transport pathway in the mesocotyl with restriction of shoot-borne root growth, N cycling within these plants was higher than those in control plants, implying that xylem and phloem flow velocities via the mesocotyl were considerably higher than in plants with an intact root system. The removal of the seminal roots in addition to restricting shoot-borne root development did not affect whole plant growth and N uptake, except for the stronger compensatory growth of the primary roots. Our results suggest that an adequate N supply to maize plant is maintained by compensatory growth of the remaining roots, increased N uptake rate and flow velocities within the xylem and phloem via the mesocotyl, and reduction in the shoot growth rate.

  6. Does a decade of elevated [CO2] affect a desert perennial plant community?

    PubMed

    Newingham, Beth A; Vanier, Cheryl H; Kelly, Lauren J; Charlet, Therese N; Smith, Stanley D

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] on plant community structure is crucial to predicting ecosystem responses to global change. Early predictions suggested that productivity in deserts would increase via enhanced water-use efficiency under elevated [CO2], but the response of intact arid plant communities to elevated [CO2 ] is largely unknown. We measured changes in perennial plant community characteristics (cover, species richness and diversity) after 10 yr of elevated [CO2] exposure in an intact Mojave Desert community at the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Contrary to expectations, total cover, species richness, and diversity were not affected by elevated [CO2]. Over the course of the experiment, elevated [CO2] had no effect on changes in cover of the evergreen C3 shrub, Larrea tridentata; alleviated decreases in cover of the C4 bunchgrass, Pleuraphis rigida; and slightly reduced the cover of C3 drought-deciduous shrubs. Thus, we generally found no effect of elevated [CO2] on plant communities in this arid ecosystem. Extended drought, slow plant growth rates, and highly episodic germination and recruitment of new individuals explain the lack of strong perennial plant community shifts after a decade of elevated [CO2]. PMID:24117700

  7. Dioecy, more than monoecy, affects plant spatial genetic structure: the case study of Ficus

    PubMed Central

    Nazareno, Alison G; Alzate-Marin, Ana L; Pereira, Rodrigo Augusto S

    2013-01-01

    In this analysis, we attempt to understand how monoecy and dioecy drive spatial genetic structure (SGS) in plant populations. For this purpose, plants of the genus Ficus were used as a comparative model due to their particular characteristics, including high species diversity, variation in life histories, and sexual systems. One of the main issues we assessed is whether dioecious fig tree populations are more spatially genetically structured than monoecious populations. Using the Sp statistic, which allows for quantitative comparisons among different studies, we compared the extent of SGS between monoecious and dioecious Ficus species. To broaden our conclusions we used published data on an additional 27 monoecious and dioecious plant species. Furthermore, genetic diversity analyses were performed for two monoecious Ficus species using 12 microsatellite markers in order to strengthen our conclusions about SGS. Our results show that dioecy, more than monoecy, significantly contributes to SGS in plant populations. On average, the estimate of Sp was six times higher for dioecious Ficus species than monoecious Ficus species and it was two times higher in dioecious than monoecious plant species. Considering these results, we emphasize that the long-distance pollen dispersal mechanism in monoecious Ficus species seems to be the dominant factor in determining weak spatial genetic structure, high levels of genetic diversity, and lack of inbreeding. Although Ficus constitute a model species to study SGS, a more general comparison encompassing a wider range of plants is required in order to better understand how sexual systems affect genetic structure. PMID:24223285

  8. Institutional implications of establishing safety goals for nuclear power plants. [PWR; BWR

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, F.A.; Hooper, R.L.

    1983-07-01

    The purpose of this project is to anticipate and address institutional problems that may arise from the adoption of NRC's proposed Policy Statement on Safety Goals for Nuclear Power Plants. The report emphasizes one particular category of institutional problems: the possible use of safety goals as a basis for legal challenges to NRC actions, and the resolution of such challenges by the courts. Three types of legal issues are identified and analyzed. These are, first, general legal issues such as access to the legal system, burden of proof, and standard of proof. Second is the particular formulation of goals. Involved here are such questions as sustainable rationale, definitions, avoided issues, vagueness of time and space details, and degree of conservatism. Implementation brings up the third set of issues which include interpretation and application, linkage to probabilistic risk assessment, consequences as compared to events, and the use of results.

  9. Macronutrient content of plant-based food affects growth of a carnivorous arthropod.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Shawn M; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2011-02-01

    Many arthropods engage in mutualisms in which they consume plant-based foods including nectar, extrafloral nectar, and honeydew. However, relatively little is known about the manner in which the specific macronutrients in these plant-based resources affect growth, especially for carnivorous arthropods. Using a combination of laboratory and field experiments, we tested (1) how plant-based foods, together with ad libitum insect prey, affect the growth of a carnivorous ant, Solenopsis invicta, and (2) which macronutrients in these resources (i.e., carbohydrates, amino acids, or both) contribute to higher colony growth. Access to honeydew increased the production of workers and brood in experimental colonies. This growth effect appeared to be due to carbohydrates alone as colonies provided with the carbohydrate component of artificial extrafloral nectar had greater worker and brood production compared to colonies deprived of carbohydrates. Surprisingly, amino acids only had a slight interactive effect on the proportion of a colony composed of brood and negatively affected worker survival. Diet choice in the laboratory and field matched performance in the laboratory with high recruitment to carbohydrate baits and only slight recruitment to amino acids. The strong, positive effects of carbohydrates on colony growth and the low cost of producing this macronutrient for plants and hemipterans may have aided the evolution of food-for-protection mutualisms and help explain why these interactions are so common in ants. In addition, greater access to plant-based resources in the introduced range of S. invicta may help to explain the high densities achieved by this species throughout the southeastern United States.

  10. Macronutrient content of plant-based food affects growth of a carnivorous arthropod.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Shawn M; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2011-02-01

    Many arthropods engage in mutualisms in which they consume plant-based foods including nectar, extrafloral nectar, and honeydew. However, relatively little is known about the manner in which the specific macronutrients in these plant-based resources affect growth, especially for carnivorous arthropods. Using a combination of laboratory and field experiments, we tested (1) how plant-based foods, together with ad libitum insect prey, affect the growth of a carnivorous ant, Solenopsis invicta, and (2) which macronutrients in these resources (i.e., carbohydrates, amino acids, or both) contribute to higher colony growth. Access to honeydew increased the production of workers and brood in experimental colonies. This growth effect appeared to be due to carbohydrates alone as colonies provided with the carbohydrate component of artificial extrafloral nectar had greater worker and brood production compared to colonies deprived of carbohydrates. Surprisingly, amino acids only had a slight interactive effect on the proportion of a colony composed of brood and negatively affected worker survival. Diet choice in the laboratory and field matched performance in the laboratory with high recruitment to carbohydrate baits and only slight recruitment to amino acids. The strong, positive effects of carbohydrates on colony growth and the low cost of producing this macronutrient for plants and hemipterans may have aided the evolution of food-for-protection mutualisms and help explain why these interactions are so common in ants. In addition, greater access to plant-based resources in the introduced range of S. invicta may help to explain the high densities achieved by this species throughout the southeastern United States. PMID:21618912

  11. A Nostoc punctiforme Sugar Transporter Necessary to Establish a Cyanobacterium-Plant Symbiosis1[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Ekman, Martin; Picossi, Silvia; Campbell, Elsie L.; Meeks, John C.; Flores, Enrique

    2013-01-01

    In cyanobacteria-plant symbioses, the symbiotic nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium has low photosynthetic activity and is supplemented by sugars provided by the plant partner. Which sugars and cyanobacterial sugar uptake mechanism(s) are involved in the symbiosis, however, is unknown. Mutants of the symbiotically competent, facultatively heterotrophic cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme were constructed bearing a neomycin resistance gene cassette replacing genes in a putative sugar transport gene cluster. Results of transport activity assays using 14C-labeled fructose and glucose and tests of heterotrophic growth with these sugars enabled the identification of an ATP-binding cassette-type transporter for fructose (Frt), a major facilitator permease for glucose (GlcP), and a porin needed for the optimal uptake of both fructose and glucose. Analysis of green fluorescent protein fluorescence in strains of N. punctiforme bearing frt::gfp fusions showed high expression in vegetative cells and akinetes, variable expression in hormogonia, and no expression in heterocysts. The symbiotic efficiency of N. punctiforme sugar transport mutants was investigated by testing their ability to infect a nonvascular plant partner, the hornwort Anthoceros punctatus. Strains that were specifically unable to transport glucose did not infect the plant. These results imply a role for GlcP in establishing symbiosis under the conditions used in this work. PMID:23463784

  12. The multifaceted role of Lon proteolysis in seedling establishment and maintenance of plant organelle function: living from protein destruction.

    PubMed

    Rigas, Stamatis; Daras, Gerasimos; Tsitsekian, Dikran; Hatzopoulos, Polydefkis

    2012-05-01

    Intracellular selective proteolysis is an important post-translational regulatory mechanism maintaining protein quality control by removing defective, damaged or even deleterious protein aggregates. The ATP-dependent Lon protease is a key component of protein quality control that is highly conserved across the kingdoms of living organisms. Major advancements have been made in bacteria and in non-plant organisms to understand the role of Lon in protection against protein oxidation, ageing and neurodegenerative diseases. This review presents the progress currently made in plants. The Lon gene family in Arabidopsis consists of four members that produce distinct protein isoforms localized in several organelles. Lon1 and Lon4 that potentially originate from a recent gene duplication event are dual-targeted to mitochondria and chloroplasts through distinct mechanisms revealing divergent evolution. Arabidopsis mutant analysis showed that mitochondria and peroxisomes biogenesis or maintenance of function is modulated by Lon1 and Lon2, respectively. Consequently, the lack of Lon selective proteolysis leading to growth retardation and impaired seedling establishment can be attributed to defects in the oil reserve mobilization pathway. The current progress in Arabidopsis research uncovers the role of Lon in the proteome homeostasis of plant organelles and stimulates biotechnology scenarios of plant tolerance against harsh abiotic conditions because of climate instability.

  13. Plant traits affecting herbivory on tree recruits in highly diverse subtropical forests.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Eichenberg, David; Fischer, Markus; Kröber, Wenzel; Härdtle, Werner; Ma, Keping; Michalski, Stefan G; Palm, Wolf-Ulrich; Schmid, Bernhard; Welk, Erik; Zhou, Hongzhang; Assmann, Thorsten

    2012-07-01

    Differences in herbivory among woody species can greatly affect the functioning of forest ecosystems, particularly in species-rich (sub)tropical regions. However, the relative importance of the different plant traits which determine herbivore damage remains unclear. Defence traits can have strong effects on herbivory, but rarely studied geographical range characteristics could complement these effects through evolutionary associations with herbivores. Herein, we use a large number of morphological, chemical, phylogenetic and biogeographical characteristics to analyse interspecific differences in herbivory on tree saplings in subtropical China. Unexpectedly, we found no significant effects of chemical defence traits. Rather, herbivory was related to the plants' leaf morphology, local abundance and climatic niche characteristics, which together explained 70% of the interspecific variation in herbivory in phylogenetic regression. Our study indicates that besides defence traits and apparency to herbivores, previously neglected measures of large-scale geographical host distribution are important factors influencing local herbivory patterns among plant species.

  14. Plant hybrid zones affect biodiversity: Tools for a genetic-based understanding of community structure

    SciTech Connect

    Whitham, T.G.; Martinsen, G.D.; Keim, P.; Floate, K.D.; Dungey, H.S. |; Potts, B.M.

    1999-03-01

    Plant hybrid zones are dynamic centers of ecological and evolutionary processes for plants and their associated communities. Studies in the wild and in gardens with synthetic crosses showed that hybrid eucalypts supports the greatest species richness and abundances of insect and fungal taxa. In an updated review of 152 case studies of taxa associated with diverse hybridizing systems, there were 43 (28%) cases of hybrids being more susceptible than their parent species, 7 (5%) resistant, 35 (23%) additive, 35 (23%) dominant, and 32 (21%) showed no response to hybridization. Thus, most taxa respond to hybrids in ways that result in equal or greater abundance, and hybrids tend to accumulate the taxa of their parent species. These studies suggest that genetic-based plant traits affect the distribution of many species and that the variation in hybrids can be used as tools to examine the genetic components of community structure and biodiversity.

  15. CO2, nitrogen, and diversity differentially affect seed production of prairie plants.

    PubMed

    HilleRisLambers, J; Harpole, W S; Schnitzer, S; Tilman, D; Reich, P B

    2009-07-01

    Plant species composition and diversity is often influenced by early life history stages; thus, global change could dramatically affect plant community structure by altering seed production. Unfortunately, plant reproductive responses to global change are rarely studied in field settings, making it difficult to assess this possibility. To address this issue, we quantified the effects of elevated CO2, nitrogen deposition, and declining diversity on inflorescence production and inflorescence mass of 11 perennial grassland species in central Minnesota, U.S.A. We analyzed these data to ask whether (1) global change differentially affects seed production of co-occurring species; (2) seed production responses to global change are similar for species within the same functional group (defined by ecophysiology and growth form); and (3) seed production responses to global change match productivity responses: We found that, on average, allocation to seed production decreased under elevated CO2, although individual species responses were rarely significant due to low power (CO2 treatment df = 2). The effects of nitrogen deposition on seed production were similar within functional groups: C4 grasses tended to increase while C3 grasses tended to decrease allocation to seed production. Responses to nitrogen deposition were negatively correlated to productivity responses, suggesting a trade-off. Allocation to seed production of some species responded to a diversity gradient, but responses were uncorrelated to productivity responses and not similar within functional groups. Presumably, species richness has complex effects on the biotic and abiotic variables that influence seed production. In total, our results suggest that seed production of co-occurring species will be altered by global change, which may affect plant communities in unpredictable ways. Although functional groups could be used to generalize seed production responses to nitrogen deposition in Minnesota prairies, we

  16. The effects of seed ingestion by livestock, dung fertilization, trampling, grass competition and fire on seedling establishment of two woody plant species.

    PubMed

    Tjelele, Julius; Ward, David; Dziba, Luthando

    2015-01-01

    The increasing rate of woody plant encroachment in grasslands or savannas remains a challenge to livestock farmers. The causes and control measures of woody plant encroachment are of common interest, especially where it negatively affects the objectives of an agricultural enterprise. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of gut passage (goats, cattle), dung (nutrients), fire, grass competition and trampling on establishment of A. nilotica and D. cinerea seedlings. Germination trials were subjected to the following treatments: 1) seed passage through the gut of cattle and goats and unpassed/ untreated seeds (i.e. not ingested), 2) dung and control (no dung), 3) grass and control (mowed grass), 4) fire and control (no fire), 5) trampling and control (no trampling). The interaction of animal species, grass and fire had an effect on seedling recruitment (P < 0.0052). Seeds retrieved from goats and planted with no grass and with fire (6.81% ± 0.33) had a significant effect on seedling recruitment than seeds retrieved from goats and planted with grass and no fire (2.98% ± 0.33). Significantly more D. cinerea and A. nilotica seeds germinated following seed ingestion by goats (3.59% ± 0.16) than cattle (1.93% ± 0.09) and control or untreated seeds (1.69% ± 0.11). Less dense grass cover, which resulted in reduced grass competition with tree seedlings for light, space and water, and improved seed scarification due to gut passage were vital for emergence and recruitment of Acacia seedlings. These results will contribute considerably to the understanding of the recruitment phase of woody plant encroachment.

  17. The effects of seed ingestion by livestock, dung fertilization, trampling, grass competition and fire on seedling establishment of two woody plant species.

    PubMed

    Tjelele, Julius; Ward, David; Dziba, Luthando

    2015-01-01

    The increasing rate of woody plant encroachment in grasslands or savannas remains a challenge to livestock farmers. The causes and control measures of woody plant encroachment are of common interest, especially where it negatively affects the objectives of an agricultural enterprise. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of gut passage (goats, cattle), dung (nutrients), fire, grass competition and trampling on establishment of A. nilotica and D. cinerea seedlings. Germination trials were subjected to the following treatments: 1) seed passage through the gut of cattle and goats and unpassed/ untreated seeds (i.e. not ingested), 2) dung and control (no dung), 3) grass and control (mowed grass), 4) fire and control (no fire), 5) trampling and control (no trampling). The interaction of animal species, grass and fire had an effect on seedling recruitment (P < 0.0052). Seeds retrieved from goats and planted with no grass and with fire (6.81% ± 0.33) had a significant effect on seedling recruitment than seeds retrieved from goats and planted with grass and no fire (2.98% ± 0.33). Significantly more D. cinerea and A. nilotica seeds germinated following seed ingestion by goats (3.59% ± 0.16) than cattle (1.93% ± 0.09) and control or untreated seeds (1.69% ± 0.11). Less dense grass cover, which resulted in reduced grass competition with tree seedlings for light, space and water, and improved seed scarification due to gut passage were vital for emergence and recruitment of Acacia seedlings. These results will contribute considerably to the understanding of the recruitment phase of woody plant encroachment. PMID:25695765

  18. Relative amount of symbionts in Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) Q changes with host plant and establishing the method of analyzing free amino acid in B. tabaci

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Huipeng; Su, Qi; Jiao, Xiaoguo; Zhou, Long; Liu, Baiming; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Wu, Qingjun; Xu, Baoyun; Zhang, YouJun

    2013-01-01

    The impact of symbionts on their insect hosts depends on their infection density. In the current study, we investigated the effects of host plants (cucumber, cabbage, and cotton) on the relative amount of symbionts Portiera and Hamiltonella in the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) Q. The relative amounts of symbionts in 3 host plant B. tabaci Q populations with the same genetic background were evaluated by quantitative PCR. The whiteflies of cabbage population harbored more Portiera than those of cucumber and cotton populations, and the relative amount of Portiera did not differ statistically between cotton and cucumber populations. The whiteflies of cucumber and cabbage populations harbored more Hamiltonella than that of cotton population, and the relative amount of Hamiltonella did not differ statistically between cabbage and cucumber populations, indicated that the relative amount of symbionts was significantly affected by host plant. In addition, the method of analyzing the composition of free amino acid in B. tabaci was established. Twenty-eight amino acids were detected in the B. tabaci Q population, the non-essential amino acids, such as glutamate, glutamine, alanine, proline and the essential amino acid arginine were the dominant amino acids in B. tabaci Q. PMID:23750302

  19. Some considerations for establishing seismic design criteria for nuclear plant piping

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, W.P.; Chokshi, N.C.

    1997-01-01

    The Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) is providing assistance to the U.S. NRC in developing regulatory positions on the seismic analysis of piping. As part of this effort, ETEC previously performed reviews of the ASME Code, Section III piping seismic design criteria as revised by the 1994 Addenda. These revised criteria were based on evaluations by the ASME Special Task Group on Integrated Piping Criteria (STGIPC) and the Technical Core Group (TCG) of the Advanced Reactor Corporation (ARC) of the earlier joint Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)/NRC Piping & Fitting Dynamic Reliability (PFDR) program. Previous ETEC evaluations reported at the 23rd WRSM of seismic margins associated with the revised criteria are reviewed. These evaluations had concluded, in part, that although margins for the timed PFDR tests appeared acceptable (>2), margins in detuned tests could be unacceptable (<1). This conclusion was based primarily on margin reduction factors (MRFs) developed by the ASME STGIPC and ARC/TCG from realistic analyses of PFDR test 36. This paper reports more recent results including: (1) an approach developed for establishing appropriate seismic margins based on PRA considerations, (2) independent assessments of frequency effects on margins, (3) the development of margins based on failure mode considerations, and (4) the implications of Code Section III rules for Section XI.

  20. Plant age and genotype affect the bacterial community composition in the tuber rhizosphere of field-grown sweet potato plants.

    PubMed

    Marques, Joana M; da Silva, Thais F; Vollu, Renata E; Blank, Arie F; Ding, Guo-Chun; Seldin, Lucy; Smalla, Kornelia

    2014-05-01

    The hypothesis that sweet potato genotypes containing different starch yields in their tuberous roots can affect the bacterial communities present in the rhizosphere (soil adhering to tubers) was tested in this study. Tuberous roots of field-grown sweet potato of genotypes IPB-149 (commercial genotype), IPB-052, and IPB-137 were sampled three and six months after planting and analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and pyrosequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes PCR-amplified from total community DNA. The statistical analysis of the DGGE fingerprints showed that both plant age and genotypes influenced the bacterial community structure in the tuber rhizosphere. Pyrosequencing analysis showed that the IPB-149 and IPB-052 (both with high starch content) displayed similar bacterial composition in the tuber rhizosphere, while IPB-137 with the lowest starch content was distinct. In comparison with bulk soil, higher 16S rRNA gene copy numbers (qPCR) and numerous genera with significantly increased abundance in the tuber rhizosphere of IPB-137 (Sphingobium, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Stenotrophomonas, Chryseobacterium) indicated a stronger rhizosphere effect. The genus Bacillus was strongly enriched in the tuber rhizosphere samples of all sweet potato genotypes studied, while other genera showed a plant genotype-dependent abundance. This is the first report on the molecular identification of bacteria being associated with the tuber rhizosphere of different sweet potato genotypes.

  1. The pinyon rhizosphere, plant stress, and herbivory affect the abundance of microbial decomposers in soils.

    PubMed

    Kuske, C R; Ticknor, L O; Busch, J D; Gehring, C A; Whitham, T G

    2003-05-01

    In terrestrial ecosystems, changes in environmental conditions that affect plant performance cause a cascade of effects through many trophic levels. In a 2-year field study, seasonal abundance measurements were conducted for fast-growing bacterial heterotrophs, humate-degrading actinomycetes, fungal heterotrophs, and fluorescent pseudomonads that represent the decomposers in soil. Links between plant health and soil microbiota abundance in pinyon rhizospheres were documented across two soil types: a dry, nutrient-poor volcanic cinder field and a sandy-loam soil. On the stressful cinder fields, we identified relationships between soil decomposer abundance, pinyon age, and stress due to insect herbivory. Across seasonal variation, consistent differences in microbial decomposer abundance were identified between the cinders and sandy-loam soil. Abundance of bacterial heterotrophs and humate-degrading actinomycetes was affected by both soil nutritional status and the pinyon rhizosphere. In contrast, abundance of the fungal heterotrophs and fluorescent pseudomonads was affected primarily by the pinyon rhizosphere. On the cinder field, the three bacterial groups were more abundant on 150-year-old trees than on 60-year-old trees, whereas fungal heterotrophs were unaffected by tree age. Fungal heterotrophs and actinomycetes were more abundant on insect-resistant trees than on susceptible trees, but the opposite was true for the fluorescent pseudomonads. Although all four groups were present in all the environments, the four microbial groups were affected differently by the pinyon rhizosphere, by tree age, and by tree stress caused by the cinder soil and insect herbivory.

  2. Temperature, plants, and oxygen: how does season affect constructed wetland performance?

    PubMed

    Stein, Otto R; Hook, Paul B

    2005-01-01

    The influence of temperature and plant-mediated oxygen transfer continues to draw attention from researchers, practitioners and regulators interested in the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Because the vast majority of research on constructed wetland performance has been conducted during periods of active plant growth, the true influence of temperature, season, and plant species selection on constructed wetlands performance has not yet been evaluated adequately. In this article, we briefly summarize changes in the understanding of these influences on wetland performance, and suggest that effects of temperature and oxygen transfer are not readily separable because both factors respond to seasonal cycles and because effects of one can offset the other. We further speculate that the net effect of seasonal variation in these factors is such that plant-mediated oxygen transfer affects water treatment most in winter. Results of controlled-environment experiments conducted at Montana State University support these perspectives. Different plant species' capacities to oxidize the root zone responded differently to seasonal cycles of growth and dormancy, and species' effects on wastewater treatment were most pronounced in winter.

  3. Temperature, plants, and oxygen: how does season affect constructed wetland performance?

    PubMed

    Stein, Otto R; Hook, Paul B

    2005-01-01

    The influence of temperature and plant-mediated oxygen transfer continues to draw attention from researchers, practitioners and regulators interested in the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Because the vast majority of research on constructed wetland performance has been conducted during periods of active plant growth, the true influence of temperature, season, and plant species selection on constructed wetlands performance has not yet been evaluated adequately. In this article, we briefly summarize changes in the understanding of these influences on wetland performance, and suggest that effects of temperature and oxygen transfer are not readily separable because both factors respond to seasonal cycles and because effects of one can offset the other. We further speculate that the net effect of seasonal variation in these factors is such that plant-mediated oxygen transfer affects water treatment most in winter. Results of controlled-environment experiments conducted at Montana State University support these perspectives. Different plant species' capacities to oxidize the root zone responded differently to seasonal cycles of growth and dormancy, and species' effects on wastewater treatment were most pronounced in winter. PMID:15921285

  4. Can corn plants inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi affect soil clay assemblage?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamo, P.; Cozzolino, V.; Di Meo, V.; Velde, B.

    2012-04-01

    Plants can extract K from exchangeable and non-exchangeable sites in the soil clay mineral structures. The latter, known as fixed K, is usually seen as an illite layer, i.e. an anhydrous K layer that forms a 1.0 nm structural layer unit as seen by X-ray diffraction. Nutrient availability can be enhanced in the root zone by arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi. In this study, the effects of non-inoculated and Glomus intraradices inoculated corn plant growth under different experimental conditions on soil K-bearing clay minerals were identified. The soil, a Vertic Xerofluvent, was planted in corn in a 2008-2010 randomized field experiment. Bulk and rhizosphere soil sampling was carried out from May to September 2010 from fertilized plots (N200P90K160 and N200P0K160) with and without plants. According to XRD analysis, three major K-bearing minerals were present in soil: smectite-rich mixed layer mineral, illite-rich mixed layer mineral and illite. Results at 40DAS indicate extraction of K from clay minerals by plant uptake, whereas at 130DAS much of the nutrient seems to be returned to the soil. There is an apparent difference between bulk and rhizophere clays. The XRD patterns are not unequivocally affected by Glomus inoculation. There are observable changes in clay mineralogy in fallow unfertilized compared with fertilized soil. In the studied soil, the illite rich mixed-layer minerals seem to be the source of K absorbed by plants, while illite acts as sink of K released from the plant-microorganisms system at the end of the growing season and as source for the following crop.

  5. CLIMATE CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE WITHIN-PLANT SPREAD OF BROAD MITES ON AZALEA.

    PubMed

    Mechant, E; Pauwels, E; Gobin, B

    2014-01-01

    The broad mite Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Banks) is considered a major pest in potted azalea, Flanders' flagship ornamental crop of Rhododendron simsii hybrids. In addition to severe economic damage, the broad mite is dreaded for its increasing resistance to acaricides. Due to restrictions in the use of broad spectrum acaricides, Belgian azalea growers are left with only three compounds, belonging to two mode of action groups and restricted in their number of applications, for broad mite control: abamectin, milbemectin and pyrethrin. Although P. latus can be controlled with predatory mites, the high cost of this system makes it (not yet) feasible for integration into standard azalea pest management systems. Hence, a maximum efficacy of treatments with available compounds is essential. Because abamectin, milbemectin and pyrethrin are contact acaricides with limited trans laminar flow, only broad mites located on shoot tips of azalea plants will be controlled after spraying. Consequently, the efficacy of chemical treatments is influenced by the location and spread of P. latus on the plant. Unfortunately, little is known on broad mites' within-plant spread or how it is affected by climatic conditions like temperature and relative humidity. Therefore, experiments were set up to verify whether climate conditions have an effect on the location and migration of broad mites on azalea. Broad mite infected azalea plants were placed in standard growth chambers under different temperature (T:2.5-25°C) and relative humidity (RH:55-80%) treatments. Within-plant spread was determined by counting mites on the shoot tips and inner leaves of azalea plants. Results indicate that temperature and relative humidity have no significant effect on the within-plant spread of P. latus. To formulate recommendations for optimal spray conditions to maximize the efficacy of broad mite control with acaricides, further experiments on the effect of light intensity and rain are scheduled.

  6. Glacial history affected phenotypic differentiation in the alpine plant, Campanula thyrsoides.

    PubMed

    Scheepens, J F; Frei, Eva S; Stöcklin, Jürg

    2013-01-01

    Numerous widespread Alpine plant species show molecular differentiation among populations from distinct regions. This has been explained as the result of genetic drift during glacial survival in isolated refugia along the border of the European Alps. Since genetic drift may affect molecular markers and phenotypic traits alike, we asked whether phenotypic differentiation mirrors molecular patterns among Alpine plant populations from different regions. Phenotypic traits can be under selection, so we additionally investigated whether part of the phenotypic differentiation can be explained by past selection and/or current adaptation. Using the monocarpic Campanula thyrsoides as our study species, a common garden experiment with plants from 21 populations from four phylogeographic groups located in regions across the Alps and the Jura Mountains was performed to test for differentiation in morphological and phenological traits. Past selection was investigated by comparing phenotypic differentiation among and within regions with molecular differentiation among and within regions. The common garden results indicated regional differentiation among populations for all investigated phenotypic traits, particularly in phenology. Delayed flowering in plants from the South-eastern Alps suggested adaptation to long sub-mediterranean summers and contrasted with earlier flowering of plants experiencing shorter growing seasons in regions with higher elevation to the West. Comparisons between molecular and phenotypic differentiation revealed diversifying selection among regions in height and biomass, which is consistent with adaptation to environmental conditions in glacial refugia. Within regions, past selection acted against strong diversification for most phenotypic traits, causing restricted postglacial adaptation. Evidence consistent with post-glacial adaptation was also given by negative correlation coefficients between several phenotypic traits and elevation of the population

  7. Multilevel Dynamic Systems Affecting Introduction of HIV/STI Prevention Innovations among Chinese Women in Sex Work Establishments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weeks, Margaret R.; Li, Jianghong; Liao, Susu; Zhang, Qingning; Dunn, Jennifer; Wang, Yanhong; Jiang, Jingmei

    2013-01-01

    Social and public health scientists are increasingly interested in applying system dynamics theory to improve understanding and to harness the forces of change within complex, multilevel systems that affect community intervention implementation, effects, and sustainability. Building a system dynamics model based on ethnographic case study has the…

  8. Carbon gas fluxes in re-established wetlands on organic soils differ relative to plant community and hydrology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Robin L.

    2011-01-01

    We measured CO2 and CH4 fluxes for 6 years following permanent flooding of an agriculturally managed organic soil at two water depths (~25 and ~55 cm standing water) in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, California, as part of research studying C dynamics in re-established wetlands. Flooding rapidly reduced gaseous C losses, and radiocarbon data showed that this, in part, was due to reduced oxidation of "old" C preserved in the organic soils. Both CO2 and CH4 emissions from the water surface increased during the first few growing seasons, concomitant with emergent marsh establishment, and thereafter appeared to stabilize according to plant communities. Areas of emergent marsh vegetation in the shallower wetland had greater net CO2 influx (-485 mg Cm-1 h-1), and lower CH4 emissions (11.5 mg Cm-2 h-1), than in the deeper wetland (-381 and 14.1 mg Cm-2 h-1, respectively). Areas with submerged and floating vegetation in the deeper wetland had CH4 emissions similar to emergent vegetation (11.9 and 12.6 mg Cm-2 h-1, respectively), despite lower net CO2 influx (-102 gC m-2 h-1). Measurements of plant moderated net CO2 influx and CH4 efflux indicated greatest potential reduction of greenhouse gases in the more shallowly flooded wetland.

  9. Differential seed handling by two African primates affects seed fate and establishment of large-seeded trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross-Camp, Nicole D.; Kaplin, Beth A.

    2011-11-01

    We examined the influence of seed handling by two semi-terrestrial African forest primates, chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes) and l'Hoest's monkeys ( Cercopithecus lhoesti), on the fate of large-seeded tree species in an afromontane forest. Chimpanzees and l'Hoest's monkeys dispersed eleven seed species over one year, with quantity and quality of dispersal varying through time. Primates differed in their seed handling behaviors with chimpanzees defecating large seeds (>0.5 cm) significantly more than l'Hoest's. Furthermore, they exhibited different oral-processing techniques with chimpanzees discarding wadges containing many seeds and l'Hoest's monkeys spitting single seeds. A PCA examined the relationship between microhabitat characteristics and the site where primates deposited seeds. The first two components explained almost half of the observed variation. Microhabitat characteristics associated with sites where seeds were defecated had little overlap with those characteristics describing where spit seeds arrived, suggesting that seed handling in part determines the location where seeds are deposited. We monitored a total of 552 seed depositions through time, recording seed persistence, germination, and establishment. Defecations were deposited significantly farther from an adult conspecific than orally-discarded seeds where they experienced the greatest persistence but poorest establishment. In contrast, spit seeds were deposited closest to an adult conspecific but experienced the highest seed establishment rates. We used experimental plots to examine the relationship between seed handling, deposition site, and seed fate. We found a significant difference in seed handling and fate, with undispersed seeds in whole fruits experiencing the lowest establishment rates. Seed germination differed by habitat type with open forest experiencing the highest rates of germination. Our results highlight the relationship between primate seed handling and deposition site and seed

  10. Loss of native herbaceous species due to woody plant encroachment facilitates the establishment of an invasive grass.

    PubMed

    Alofs, Karen M; Fowler, Norma L

    2013-03-01

    Although negative relationships between diversity (frequently measured as species richness) and invasibility at neighborhood or community scales have often been reported, realistic natural diversity gradients have rarely been studied at this scale. We recreated a naturally occurring gradient in species richness to test the effects of species richness on community invasibility. In central Texas savannas, as the proportion of woody plants increases (a process known as woody plant encroachment), herbaceous habitat is both lost and fragmented, and native herbaceous species richness declines. We examined the effects of these species losses on invasibility in situ by removing species that occur less frequently in herbaceous patches as woody plant encroachment advances. This realistic species removal was accompanied by a parallel and equivalent removal of biomass with no changes in species richness. Over two springs, the nonnative bunchgrass Bothriochloa ischaemum germinated significantly more often in the biomass-removal treatment than in unmanipulated control plots, suggesting an effect of native plant density independent of diversity. Additionally, significantly more germination occurred in the species-removal treatment than in the biomass-removal treatment. Changes in species richness had a stronger effect on B. ischaemum germination than changes in plant density, demonstrating that niche-related processes contributed more to biotic resistance in this system than did species-neutral competitive interactions. Similar treatment effects were found on transplant growth. Thus we show that woody plant encroachment indirectly facilitates the establishment of an invasive grass by reducing native diversity. Although we found a negative relationship between species richness and invasibility at the scale of plots with similar composition and environmental conditions, we found a positive relationship between species richness and invasibility at larger scales. This apparent

  11. Agave salmiana Plant Communities in Central Mexico as Affected by Commercial Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal ( Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha-1) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha-1) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha-1) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  12. Agave salmiana plant communities in central Mexico as affected by commercial use.

    PubMed

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal (Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha(-1)) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha(-1)) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha(-1)) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  13. Isolating Fungal Pathogens from a Dynamic Disease Outbreak in a Native Plant Population to Establish Plant-Pathogen Bioassays for the Ecological Model Plant Nicotiana attenuata

    PubMed Central

    Schuck, Stefan; Baldwin, Ian T.

    2014-01-01

    The wild tobacco species Nicotiana attenuata has been intensively used as a model plant to study its interaction with insect herbivores and pollinators in nature, however very little is known about its native pathogen community. We describe a fungal disease outbreak in a native N. attenuata population comprising 873 plants growing in an area of about 1500 m2. The population was divided into 14 subpopulations and disease symptom development in the subpopulations was monitored for 16 days, revealing a waxing and waning of visible disease symptoms with some diseased plants recovering fully. Native fungal N. attenuata pathogens were isolated from diseased plants, characterized genetically, chemotaxonomically and morphologically, revealing several isolates of the ascomycete genera Fusarium and Alternaria, that differed in the type and strength of the disease symptoms they caused in bioassays on either detached leaves or intact soil-grown plants. These isolates and the bioassays will empower the study of N. attenuata-pathogen interactions in a realistic ecological context. PMID:25036191

  14. Auditory Verbal Hallucinations: can Beliefs about Voices Mediate the Relationship Patients establish with them and Negative Affect?

    PubMed

    León-Palacios, María de Gracia; Úbeda-Gómez, Juan; Escudero-Pérez, Silvia; Barros-Albarán, María Dolores; López-Jiménez, Ana María; Perona-Garcelán, Salvador

    2015-10-13

    This study was designed to find out whether a person's relationship with his voices and the negative affect he suffers from are mediated by beliefs about the voices. Research done to date shows contradictory results (Sorrell, Hayward, & Meddings, 2010, Vaughan & Fowler, 2004). A cross-sectional study was done to study the associations among variables, and a multiple mediation model (Preacher & Hayes, 2008) in which the beliefs about voices were the mediating variables was tested. Sixty subjects who heard voices participated. The VAY (Hayward, Denney, Vaughan, & Fowler, 2008), BAVQ (Chadwick & Birchwood, 1995), BAI (Beck & Steer, 1993) and BDI-II (Beck, Steer & Brown, 1996) were given. We found a significant positive correlation between perception of voices as dominant and intrusive and maintaining a position of distance from them on one hand, and negative affect [anxiety (r = .57, p < .001; r = .40, p < .001; r = .34, p < .01 respectively) and depression (r = .58, p < .001; r = .37, p < .01; r = .38, p < .001 respectively)] on the other. We also found that beliefs of malevolence and omnipotence mediated between relating style and negative affect (anxiety and depression). The theoretical implications of the results and clinical implications of the mediating relationships found are discussed.

  15. Plant Protein and Animal Proteins: Do They Differentially Affect Cardiovascular Disease Risk?12

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Chesney K; Skulas-Ray, Ann C; Champagne, Catherine M; Kris-Etherton, Penny M

    2015-01-01

    Proteins from plant-based compared with animal-based food sources may have different effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Numerous epidemiologic and intervention studies have evaluated their respective health benefits; however, it is difficult to isolate the role of plant or animal protein on CVD risk. This review evaluates the current evidence from observational and intervention studies, focusing on the specific protein-providing foods and populations studied. Dietary protein is derived from many food sources, and each provides a different composite of nonprotein compounds that can also affect CVD risk factors. Increasing the consumption of protein-rich foods also typically results in lower intakes of other nutrients, which may simultaneously influence outcomes. Given these complexities, blanket statements about plant or animal protein may be too general, and greater consideration of the specific protein food sources and the background diet is required. The potential mechanisms responsible for any specific effects of plant and animal protein are similarly multifaceted and include the amino acid content of particular foods, contributions from other nonprotein compounds provided concomitantly by the whole food, and interactions with the gut microbiome. Evidence to date is inconclusive, and additional studies are needed to further advance our understanding of the complexity of plant protein vs. animal protein comparisons. Nonetheless, current evidence supports the idea that CVD risk can be reduced by a dietary pattern that provides more plant sources of protein compared with the typical American diet and also includes animal-based protein foods that are unprocessed and low in saturated fat. PMID:26567196

  16. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Cárcamo, Héctor A; Herle, Carolyn E; Lupwayi, Newton Z

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs. PMID:26106086

  17. Plant protein and animal proteins: do they differentially affect cardiovascular disease risk?

    PubMed

    Richter, Chesney K; Skulas-Ray, Ann C; Champagne, Catherine M; Kris-Etherton, Penny M

    2015-11-01

    Proteins from plant-based compared with animal-based food sources may have different effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Numerous epidemiologic and intervention studies have evaluated their respective health benefits; however, it is difficult to isolate the role of plant or animal protein on CVD risk. This review evaluates the current evidence from observational and intervention studies, focusing on the specific protein-providing foods and populations studied. Dietary protein is derived from many food sources, and each provides a different composite of nonprotein compounds that can also affect CVD risk factors. Increasing the consumption of protein-rich foods also typically results in lower intakes of other nutrients, which may simultaneously influence outcomes. Given these complexities, blanket statements about plant or animal protein may be too general, and greater consideration of the specific protein food sources and the background diet is required. The potential mechanisms responsible for any specific effects of plant and animal protein are similarly multifaceted and include the amino acid content of particular foods, contributions from other nonprotein compounds provided concomitantly by the whole food, and interactions with the gut microbiome. Evidence to date is inconclusive, and additional studies are needed to further advance our understanding of the complexity of plant protein vs. animal protein comparisons. Nonetheless, current evidence supports the idea that CVD risk can be reduced by a dietary pattern that provides more plant sources of protein compared with the typical American diet and also includes animal-based protein foods that are unprocessed and low in saturated fat.

  18. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen

    PubMed Central

    Cárcamo, Héctor A.; Herle, Carolyn E.; Lupwayi, Newton Z.

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs. PMID:26106086

  19. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Cárcamo, Héctor A; Herle, Carolyn E; Lupwayi, Newton Z

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs.

  20. Population variation affects interactions between two California salt marsh plant species more than precipitation.

    PubMed

    Noto, Akana E; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2016-02-01

    Species that occur along broad environmental gradients often vary in phenotypic traits that make them better adapted to local conditions. Variation in species interactions across gradients could therefore be due to either phenotypic differences among populations or environmental conditions that shift the balance between competition and facilitation. To understand how the environment (precipitation) and variation among populations affect species interactions, we conducted a common garden experiment using two common salt marsh plant species, Salicornia pacifica and Jaumea carnosa, from six salt marshes along the California coast encompassing a large precipitation gradient. Plants were grown alone or with an individual of the opposite species from the same site and exposed to one of three precipitation regimes. J. carnosa was negatively affected in the presence of S. pacifica, while S. pacifica was facilitated by J. carnosa. The strength of these interactions varied by site of origin but not by precipitation treatment. These results suggest that phenotypic variation among populations can affect interaction strength more than environment, despite a threefold difference in precipitation. Geographic intraspecific variation may therefore play an important role in determining the strength of interactions in communities.

  1. Population variation affects interactions between two California salt marsh plant species more than precipitation.

    PubMed

    Noto, Akana E; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2016-02-01

    Species that occur along broad environmental gradients often vary in phenotypic traits that make them better adapted to local conditions. Variation in species interactions across gradients could therefore be due to either phenotypic differences among populations or environmental conditions that shift the balance between competition and facilitation. To understand how the environment (precipitation) and variation among populations affect species interactions, we conducted a common garden experiment using two common salt marsh plant species, Salicornia pacifica and Jaumea carnosa, from six salt marshes along the California coast encompassing a large precipitation gradient. Plants were grown alone or with an individual of the opposite species from the same site and exposed to one of three precipitation regimes. J. carnosa was negatively affected in the presence of S. pacifica, while S. pacifica was facilitated by J. carnosa. The strength of these interactions varied by site of origin but not by precipitation treatment. These results suggest that phenotypic variation among populations can affect interaction strength more than environment, despite a threefold difference in precipitation. Geographic intraspecific variation may therefore play an important role in determining the strength of interactions in communities. PMID:26481794

  2. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance.

  3. Different Degrees of Plant Invasion Significantly Affect the Richness of the Soil Fungal Community

    PubMed Central

    Si, Chuncan; Liu, Xueyan; Wang, Congyan; Wang, Lei; Dai, Zhicong; Qi, Shanshan; Du, Daolin

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems) were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process. PMID:24392015

  4. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    PubMed

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production. PMID:17803646

  5. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance. PMID:27114578

  6. Common gas phase molecules from fungi affect seed germination and plant health in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Fungal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play important ecophysiological roles in mediating inter-kingdom signaling with arthropods but less is known about their interactions with plants. In this study, Arabidopsis thaliana was used as a model in order to test the physiological effects of 23 common vapor-phase fungal VOCs that included alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and other chemical classes. After exposure to a shared atmosphere with the 23 individual VOCs for 72 hrs, seeds were assayed for rate of germination and seedling formation; vegetative plants were assayed for fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration. All but five of the VOCs tested (1-decene, 2-n-heptylfuran, nonanal, geosmin and -limonene) had a significant effect in inhibiting either germination, seedling formation or both. Seedling formation was entirely inhibited by exposure to 1-octen-3-one, 2-ethylhexanal, 3-methylbutanal, and butanal. As assayed by a combination of fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration, 2-ethylhexanal had a negative impact on two-week-old vegetative plants. Three other compounds (1-octen-3-ol, 2-ethylhexanal, and 2-heptylfuran) decreased fresh weight alone. Most of the VOCs tested did not change the fresh weight or chlorophyll concentration of vegetative plants. In summary, when tested as single compounds, fungal VOCs affected A. thaliana in positive, negative or neutral ways. PMID:25045602

  7. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    PubMed

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production.

  8. A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Tollenaere, C; Pernechele, B; Mäkinen, H S; Parratt, S R; Németh, M Z; Kovács, G M; Kiss, L; Tack, A J M; Laine, A-L

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the impact of natural enemies of plant and animal pathogens on their host's population dynamics is needed to determine the role of hyperparasites in affecting disease dynamics, and their potential for use in efficient control strategies of pathogens. Here, we focus on the long-term study describing metapopulation dynamics of an obligate pathogen, the powdery mildew (Podosphaera plantaginis) naturally infecting its wild host plant (Plantago lanceolata) in the fragmented landscape of the Åland archipelago (southwest Finland). Regionally, the pathogen persists through a balance of extinctions and colonizations, yet factors affecting extinction rates remain poorly understood. Mycoparasites of the genus Ampelomyces appear as good candidates for testing the role of a hyperparasite, i.e. a parasite of other parasites, in the regulation of their fungal hosts' population dynamics. For this purpose, we first designed a quantitative PCR assay for detection of Ampelomyces spp. in field-collected samples. This newly developed molecular test was then applied to a large-scale sampling within the Åland archipelago, revealing that Ampelomyces is a widespread hyperparasite in this system, with high variability in prevalence among populations. We found that the hyperparasite was more common on leaves where multiple powdery mildew strains coexist, a pattern that may be attributed to differential exposure. Moreover, the prevalence of Ampelomyces at the plant level negatively affected the overwinter survival of its fungal host. We conclude that this hyperparasite may likely impact on its host population dynamics and argue for increased focus on the role of hyperparasites in disease dynamics. PMID:25204419

  9. Factors affecting food handling Practices among food handlers of Dangila town food and drink establishments, North West Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Food borne diseases are major health problems in developed and developing countries including Ethiopia. The problem is more noticeable in developing countries due to prevailing poor food handling and sanitation practices, inadequate food safety laws, weak regulatory systems, lack of financial resources to invest on safer equipments, and lack of education for food handlers. Methods The objective of this study was to assess food handling practice and associated factors among food handlers working in food and drinking establishments of Dangila town, North West Ethiopia. Cross-sectional quantitative study design was conducted among 406 food handlers working in 105 food and drink establishments from July to August 2013 in Dangila town. Data were collected using face to face interview with pretested structured questionnaire and physical observation. Result The mean age of the respondents was 22.7 ± 4.2 years of which 62.8% of the food handlers were females. Two hundred thirteen (52.5%) of food handlers had good food handling practices. Marital status (AOR = 7.52, 95% CI, 1.45-38.97), monthly income (AOR = 0.395, 95% CI, 0.25-0.62), knowledge about food handling (AOR = 1.69, 95% CI, 1.05-2.73), existence of shower facility (AOR = 1.89, 95% CI, 1.12-3.21) and separate dressing room (AOR = 1.97, 95% CI, 1.11-3.49) were found to be significantly associated with good food handling Practices. Conclusion Above half of food handlers had good food handling practices. Marital status, monthly income, knowledge status, existence of shower facility, existence of separate dressing room and presence of insect and rodent were factors associated with food handling Practices. PMID:24908104

  10. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants.

    PubMed

    Schuerger, A C; Brown, C S

    1997-02-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  11. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, A. C.; Brown, C. S.; Sager, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  12. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants.

    PubMed

    Schuerger, A C; Brown, C S

    1997-02-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  13. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  14. Bioaerosols from a Food Waste Composting Plant Affect Human Airway Epithelial Cell Remodeling Genes

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Ming-Wei; Lee, Chung-Ru; Hung, Hsueh-Fen; Teng, Kuo-Sheng; Huang, Hsin; Chuang, Chun-Yu

    2013-01-01

    The composting procedure in food waste plants generates airborne bioaerosols that have the potential to damage human airway epithelial cells. Persistent inflammation and repair responses induce airway remodeling and damage to the respiratory system. This study elucidated the expression changes of airway remodeling genes in human lung mucoepidermoid NCI-H292 cells exposed to bioaerosols from a composting plant. Different types of microorganisms were detectable in the composting plant, using the agar culture method. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the level of Aspergillus fumigatus and the profile of remodeling genes. The real-time PCR results indicated that the amount of A. fumigatus in the composting hall was less than 102 conidia. The endotoxins in the field bioaerosols were determined using a limulus amebocyte lysate test. The endotoxin levels depended on the type of particulate matter (PM), with coarse particles (2.5–10 μm) having higher endotoxin levels than did fine particles (0.5–2.5 μm). After exposure to the conditioned medium of field bioaerosol samples, NCI-H292 cells showed increased pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 release and activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21WAF1/CIP1) gene expression, but not of matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-9. Airborne endotoxin levels were higher inside the composting hall than they were in other areas, and they were associated with PM. This suggested that airborne bioaerosols in the composting plant contained endotoxins and microorganisms besides A. fumigatus that cause the inflammatory cytokine secretion and augment the expression of remodeling genes in NCI-H292 cells. It is thus necessary to monitor potentially hazardous materials from bioaerosols in food composting plants, which could affect the health of workers. PMID:24368426

  15. Dynamic Response of Large Wind Power Plant Affected by Diverse Conditions at Individual Turbines

    SciTech Connect

    Elizondo, Marcelo A.; Lu, Shuai; Lin, Guang; Wang, Shaobu

    2014-07-31

    Diverse operating conditions at individual wind turbine generators (WTG) within wind power plants (WPPs) can affect the WPP dynamic response to system faults. For example, individual WTGs can experience diverse terminal voltage and power output caused by different wind direction and speed, affecting the response of protection and control limiters. In this paper, we present a study to investigate the dynamic response of a detailed WPP model under diverse power outputs of its individual WTGs. Wake effect is considered as the reason for diverse power outputs. The diverse WTG power output is evaluated in a test system where a large 168-machine test WPP is connected to the IEEE-39-bus system. The power output from each WTG is derived from a wake effect model that uses realistic statistical data for incoming wind speed and direction. The results show that diverse WTG output due to wake effect can affect the WPP dynamic response activating specialized control in some turbines. In addition, transient stability is affected by exhibiting uncertainty in critical clearing time calculation.

  16. Factors Affecting Population Trends of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes on Rangeland Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, G. D.; Asay, K. H.; Horton, W. H.

    1996-01-01

    The effects of environmental conditions on population trends of plant-parasitic nematodes were studied in experimental plots of five wheatgrasses in the western Utah desert. In a 3-year (1984-86) field study, soil water and temperature affected the population trends of the ectoparasites, Tylenchorhynchus acutoides and Xiphinema americanum, and the migratory endoparasite, Pratylenchus neglectus, on Fairway crested wheatgrass, Agropyron cristatum; 'Hycrest' crested wheatgrass, A. cristatum X A. desertorura; 'Rosana' western wheatgrass, Pascopyrum smithii; 'Oahe' intermediate wheatgrass, Thinopyrum intermedium; and RS-1 hybrid (Elytrigia repens X Pseudoroegneria spicata). The largest soil populations of these nematode species were collected in 1984 under good plant-growth conditions. A reduction in nematode populations occurred in 1985 and 1986, possibly because of low soil-water conditions. There was a positive relationship between high soil water and maximum population densities of T. acutoides in the spring and fall of 1984, and between low soil water and minimum population densities of the nematode in 1985 and 1986. Pratylenchus neglectus populations were affected by soil water, although to a lesser degree than the ectoparasitic nematodes. Population densities of the three nematode species were significantly lower in the drier years of 1985 and 1986 than in 1984. Nematode populations were greater at the lower soil depths in the fall than in the spring or summer. PMID:19277352

  17. Phytostabilization of arsenic in soils with plants of the genus Atriplex established in situ in the Atacama Desert.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Yasna Tapia; Diaz, O; Acuña, E; Casanova, M; Salazar, O; Masaguer, A

    2016-04-01

    In the ChiuChiu village (Atacama Desert, Chile), there is a high concentration of arsenic (As) in the soil due to natural causes related to the presence of volcanoes and geothermal activity. To compare the levels of As and the growth parameters among plants of the same genus, three species of plants were established in situ: Atriplex atacamensis (native of Chile), Atriplex halimus, and Atriplex nummularia. These soils have an As concentration of 131.2 ± 10.4 mg kg(-1), a pH of 8.6 ± 0.1, and an electrical conductivity of 7.06 ± 2.37 dS m(-1). Cuttings of Atriplex were transplanted and maintained for 5 months with periodic irrigation and without the addition of fertilizers. The sequential extraction of As indicated that the metalloid in these soils has a high bioavailability (38 %), which is attributed to the alkaline pH, low organic matter and Fe oxide content, and sandy texture. At day 90 of the assay, the As concentrations in the leaves of A. halimus (4.53 ± 1.14 mg kg(-1)) and A. nummularia (3.85 ± 0.64 mg kg(-1)) were significantly higher than that in A. atacamensis (2.46 ± 1.82 mg kg(-1)). However, the three species accumulated higher levels of As in their roots, indicating a phytostabilization capacity. At the end of the assay, A. halimus and A. nummularia generated 30 % more biomass than A. atacamensis without significant differences in the As levels in the leaves. Despite the difficult conditions in these soils, the establishment of plants of the genus Atriplex is a recommended strategy to generate a vegetative cover that prevents the metalloid from spreading in this arid area through the soil or by wind. PMID:27000320

  18. Phytostabilization of arsenic in soils with plants of the genus Atriplex established in situ in the Atacama Desert.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Yasna Tapia; Diaz, O; Acuña, E; Casanova, M; Salazar, O; Masaguer, A

    2016-04-01

    In the ChiuChiu village (Atacama Desert, Chile), there is a high concentration of arsenic (As) in the soil due to natural causes related to the presence of volcanoes and geothermal activity. To compare the levels of As and the growth parameters among plants of the same genus, three species of plants were established in situ: Atriplex atacamensis (native of Chile), Atriplex halimus, and Atriplex nummularia. These soils have an As concentration of 131.2 ± 10.4 mg kg(-1), a pH of 8.6 ± 0.1, and an electrical conductivity of 7.06 ± 2.37 dS m(-1). Cuttings of Atriplex were transplanted and maintained for 5 months with periodic irrigation and without the addition of fertilizers. The sequential extraction of As indicated that the metalloid in these soils has a high bioavailability (38 %), which is attributed to the alkaline pH, low organic matter and Fe oxide content, and sandy texture. At day 90 of the assay, the As concentrations in the leaves of A. halimus (4.53 ± 1.14 mg kg(-1)) and A. nummularia (3.85 ± 0.64 mg kg(-1)) were significantly higher than that in A. atacamensis (2.46 ± 1.82 mg kg(-1)). However, the three species accumulated higher levels of As in their roots, indicating a phytostabilization capacity. At the end of the assay, A. halimus and A. nummularia generated 30 % more biomass than A. atacamensis without significant differences in the As levels in the leaves. Despite the difficult conditions in these soils, the establishment of plants of the genus Atriplex is a recommended strategy to generate a vegetative cover that prevents the metalloid from spreading in this arid area through the soil or by wind.

  19. The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies.

    PubMed

    Gerofotis, Christos D; Ioannou, Charalampos S; Nakas, Christos T; Papadopoulos, Nikos T

    2016-01-01

    Food quality shapes life history traits either directly or through response of individuals to additional environmental factors, such as chemical cues. Plant extracts used as food additives modulate key life history traits; however little is known regarding such effects for olfactory chemical cues. Exploiting an interesting experimental system that involves the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the plant metabolite α-pinene we asked whether exposure of adults to this compound modulates adult longevity and female reproduction in similar manner in a stressful - dietary (protein) restricted (DR) and in a relaxed- full diet (FD) feeding environment. Accordingly, we exposed males and females to the aroma of α-pinene and measured lifespan and age-specific fecundity in the above two dietary contexts. Our results demonstrate that exposure to α-pinene increased longevity in males and fecundity in females only under dietary restricted conditions. In relaxed food conditions, females exposed to α-pinene shifted high egg-laying towards younger ages compared to non-exposed ones. This is the first report demonstrating that a plant compound affects key life history traits of adult olive flies through olfaction. These effects are sex-specific and more pronounced in dietary restricted adults. Possible underlying mechanisms and the ecological significance are discussed. PMID:27339862

  20. Host plant affects the sexual attractiveness of the female white-spotted longicorn beetle, Anoplophora malasiaca.

    PubMed

    Yasui, Hiroe; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao

    2016-01-01

    Anoplophora malasiaca (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is a serious pest that destroys various landscape and crop trees in Japan. We evaluated the precopulatory responses of three different A. malasiaca populations collected from mandarin orange, willow and blueberry trees. Most of the males accepted mates from within the same host plant population as well as females from the willow and blueberry populations. However, significant number of males from the blueberry and willow populations rejected females from the mandarin orange population immediately after touching them with their antennae. Because all three of the female populations produced contact sex pheromones on their elytra, the females of the mandarin orange population were predicted to possess extra chemicals that repelled the males of the other two populations. β-Elemene was identified as a key component that was only found in mandarin orange-fed females and induced a rejection response in willow-fed males. Our results represent the first example of a female-acquired repellent against conspecific males of different host plant populations, indicating that the host plant greatly affects the female's sexual attractiveness. PMID:27412452

  1. Does Plant Biomass Manipulation in Static Chambers Affect Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Soils?

    PubMed

    Collier, Sarah M; Dean, Andrew P; Oates, Lawrence G; Ruark, Matthew D; Jackson, Randall D

    2016-03-01

    One of the most widespread approaches for measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from soils involves the use of static chambers. This method is relatively inexpensive, is easily replicated, and is ideally suited to plot-based experimental systems. Among its limitations is the loss of detection sensitivity with increasing chamber height, which creates challenges for deployment in systems including tall vegetation. It is not always possible to avoid inclusion of plants within chambers or to extend chamber height to fully accommodate plant growth. Thus, in many systems, such as perennial forages and biomass crops, plants growing within static chambers must either be trimmed or folded during lid closure. Currently, data on how different types of biomass manipulation affect measured results is limited. Here, we compare the effects of cutting vs. folding of biomass on nitrous oxide measurements in switchgrass ( L.) and alfalfa ( L.) systems. We report only limited evidence of treatment effects during discrete sampling events and little basis for concern that effects may intensify over time as biomass manipulation is repeatedly imposed. However, nonsignificant treatment effects that were consistently present amounted to significant overall trends in three out of the four systems studied. Such minor disparities in flux could amount to considerable quantities over time, suggesting that caution should be exercised when comparing cumulative emission values from studies using different biomass manipulation strategies.

  2. Inhibitors of plant invertases do not affect the structurally related enzymes of fructan metabolism.

    PubMed

    Kusch, Ute; Harms, Karsten; Rausch, Thomas; Greiner, Steffen

    2009-01-01

    Plant fructan active enzymes (FAZYs), including the enzymes involved in inulin metabolism, namely sucrose:sucrose 1-fructosyltransferase (1-SST; EC 2.4.1.99), fructan:fructan 1-fructosyltransferase (1-FFT; EC 2.4.1.100) and fructan 1-exohydrolase (1-FEH; EC 3.2.1.153), are evolutionarily related to acid invertases (AIs), that is, plant cell wall invertase (CWI) and vacuolar invertase (VI). Acid invertases are post-translationally controlled by proteinaceous inhibitors. Whether FAZYs are subject to similar controls is not known. To probe their possible interactions with invertase inhibitors, we transiently expressed chicory (Cichorium intybus) FAZYs, as well as several previously characterized invertase inhibitors from nonfructan species, and the C. intybus cell wall/vacuolar inhibitor of fructosidase (CiC/VIF), a putative invertase inhibitor of a fructan-accumulating plant, in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana. Leaf extracts containing recombinant, enzymatically active FAZYs were used to explore the interaction with invertase inhibitors. Neither heterologous inhibitors nor CiC/VIF affected FAZY activities. CiC/VIF was confirmed as an AI inhibitor with a stronger effect on CWI than on VI. Its expression in planta was developmentally regulated (high in taproots, and undetectable in leaves and flowers). In agreement with its target specificities, CiC/VIF was associated with the cell wall. It is concluded that subtle structural differences between AIs and FAZYs result in pronounced selectivity of inhibitor action.

  3. Host plant affects the sexual attractiveness of the female white-spotted longicorn beetle, Anoplophora malasiaca

    PubMed Central

    Yasui, Hiroe; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao

    2016-01-01

    Anoplophora malasiaca (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is a serious pest that destroys various landscape and crop trees in Japan. We evaluated the precopulatory responses of three different A. malasiaca populations collected from mandarin orange, willow and blueberry trees. Most of the males accepted mates from within the same host plant population as well as females from the willow and blueberry populations. However, significant number of males from the blueberry and willow populations rejected females from the mandarin orange population immediately after touching them with their antennae. Because all three of the female populations produced contact sex pheromones on their elytra, the females of the mandarin orange population were predicted to possess extra chemicals that repelled the males of the other two populations. β-Elemene was identified as a key component that was only found in mandarin orange-fed females and induced a rejection response in willow-fed males. Our results represent the first example of a female-acquired repellent against conspecific males of different host plant populations, indicating that the host plant greatly affects the female’s sexual attractiveness. PMID:27412452

  4. Does Plant Biomass Manipulation in Static Chambers Affect Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Soils?

    PubMed

    Collier, Sarah M; Dean, Andrew P; Oates, Lawrence G; Ruark, Matthew D; Jackson, Randall D

    2016-03-01

    One of the most widespread approaches for measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from soils involves the use of static chambers. This method is relatively inexpensive, is easily replicated, and is ideally suited to plot-based experimental systems. Among its limitations is the loss of detection sensitivity with increasing chamber height, which creates challenges for deployment in systems including tall vegetation. It is not always possible to avoid inclusion of plants within chambers or to extend chamber height to fully accommodate plant growth. Thus, in many systems, such as perennial forages and biomass crops, plants growing within static chambers must either be trimmed or folded during lid closure. Currently, data on how different types of biomass manipulation affect measured results is limited. Here, we compare the effects of cutting vs. folding of biomass on nitrous oxide measurements in switchgrass ( L.) and alfalfa ( L.) systems. We report only limited evidence of treatment effects during discrete sampling events and little basis for concern that effects may intensify over time as biomass manipulation is repeatedly imposed. However, nonsignificant treatment effects that were consistently present amounted to significant overall trends in three out of the four systems studied. Such minor disparities in flux could amount to considerable quantities over time, suggesting that caution should be exercised when comparing cumulative emission values from studies using different biomass manipulation strategies. PMID:27065424

  5. The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies

    PubMed Central

    Gerofotis, Christos D.; Ioannou, Charalampos S.; Nakas, Christos T.; Papadopoulos, Nikos T.

    2016-01-01

    Food quality shapes life history traits either directly or through response of individuals to additional environmental factors, such as chemical cues. Plant extracts used as food additives modulate key life history traits; however little is known regarding such effects for olfactory chemical cues. Exploiting an interesting experimental system that involves the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the plant metabolite α-pinene we asked whether exposure of adults to this compound modulates adult longevity and female reproduction in similar manner in a stressful – dietary (protein) restricted (DR) and in a relaxed- full diet (FD) feeding environment. Accordingly, we exposed males and females to the aroma of α-pinene and measured lifespan and age-specific fecundity in the above two dietary contexts. Our results demonstrate that exposure to α-pinene increased longevity in males and fecundity in females only under dietary restricted conditions. In relaxed food conditions, females exposed to α-pinene shifted high egg-laying towards younger ages compared to non-exposed ones. This is the first report demonstrating that a plant compound affects key life history traits of adult olive flies through olfaction. These effects are sex-specific and more pronounced in dietary restricted adults. Possible underlying mechanisms and the ecological significance are discussed. PMID:27339862

  6. Plant material as bioaccumulator of arsenic in soils affected by mining activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-López, Salvadora; Martínez-Sánchez, Maria Jose; García-Lorenzo, Maria Luz; Pérez-Sirvent, Carmen

    2010-05-01

    fraction (oxidaizable medium extraction procedure). Arsenic concentration in leaves was positively correlated with the arsenic extracted by HCl, with the oxidizable-organic matter and sulfides fraction and with the arsenic extracted by Mehra-Jackson extraction. According to our results, As is accumulated in the leaves of the plants and is linked with iron oxides of these soils affected by mining activities.

  7. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats. PMID

  8. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats. PMID

  9. Novel ideas for maximising dew collection to aid plant establishment to combat desertification and restore degraded dry and arid lands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotzen, Benz

    2014-05-01

    This paper focuses on the potential of dew to provide water to plants and potentially to people as well in remote and difficult to reach areas where rainfall and underground water cannot be harvested. The combat of desertification and the restoration of degraded and desertified dry and arid lands has never been more urgent. A key practical component of this strategy is the restoration of habitat with planting. But for habitat and planting to survive there needs to be an adequate supply of water. In most cases providing water to the plant's roots is vital. In some areas where habitats have been destroyed, sufficient water is immediately available, for example through seasonal rainfall, or it can be harvested to concentrate adequate supplies of water to the roots. However, in arid and hyper arid areas, as well as in some dryland areas, a consistent and adequate supply of water cannot be provided by any conventional proven method. Thus, as the need to combat desertification and to restore desertified dry and arid land increases, so the need to find novel methods of establishing and maintaining planting and thus habitat increases. In more traditional land management scenarios this can be achieved through manipulating landform on a micro and macro scale, for example, by creating catchments, thereby collecting precipitation and directing it to the plants. Where this cannot be done, other means of water supply are usually required. Bainbridge (2007) and others have shown that supplying water to plants is possible through a number of traditional methods, for example, using clay pots. But most of these techniques require an introduced source of water, for example, obtained through water harvesting methods or by delivering water to site in tanks and by water bowser. This can work but requires continuous manpower. It is expensive and can be physically prohibitive in areas where access is difficult and/or remote. The concept of using dew to supply water in drylands is not new

  10. Novel ideas for maximising dew collection to aid plant establishment to combat desertification and restore degraded dry and arid lands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotzen, Benz

    2014-05-01

    This paper focuses on the potential of dew to provide water to plants and potentially to people as well in remote and difficult to reach areas where rainfall and underground water cannot be harvested. The combat of desertification and the restoration of degraded and desertified dry and arid lands has never been more urgent. A key practical component of this strategy is the restoration of habitat with planting. But for habitat and planting to survive there needs to be an adequate supply of water. In most cases providing water to the plant's roots is vital. In some areas where habitats have been destroyed, sufficient water is immediately available, for example through seasonal rainfall, or it can be harvested to concentrate adequate supplies of water to the roots. However, in arid and hyper arid areas, as well as in some dryland areas, a consistent and adequate supply of water cannot be provided by any conventional proven method. Thus, as the need to combat desertification and to restore desertified dry and arid land increases, so the need to find novel methods of establishing and maintaining planting and thus habitat increases. In more traditional land management scenarios this can be achieved through manipulating landform on a micro and macro scale, for example, by creating catchments, thereby collecting precipitation and directing it to the plants. Where this cannot be done, other means of water supply are usually required. Bainbridge (2007) and others have shown that supplying water to plants is possible through a number of traditional methods, for example, using clay pots. But most of these techniques require an introduced source of water, for example, obtained through water harvesting methods or by delivering water to site in tanks and by water bowser. This can work but requires continuous manpower. It is expensive and can be physically prohibitive in areas where access is difficult and/or remote. The concept of using dew to supply water in drylands is not new

  11. Unpreferred plants affect patch choice and spatial distribution of European brown hares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuijper, D. P. J.; Bakker, J. P.

    2008-11-01

    Many herbivore species prefer to forage on patches of intermediate biomass. Plant quality and forage efficiency are predicted to decrease with increasing plant standing crop which explains the lower preference of the herbivore. However, often is ignored that on the long-term, plant species composition is predicted to change with increasing plant standing crop. The amount of low-quality, unpreferred food plants increases with increasing plant standing crop. In the present study the effects of unpreferred plants on patch choice and distribution of European brown hare in a salt-marsh system were studied. In one experiment, unpreferred plants were removed from plots. In the second experiment, plots were planted with different densities of an unpreferred artificial plant. Removal of unpreferred plants increased hare-grazing pressure more than fivefold compared to unmanipulated plots. Planting of unpreferred plants reduced hare-grazing pressure, with a significant reduction of grazing already occurring at low unpreferred plant density. Spatial distribution of hares within this salt-marsh system was related to spatial arrangement of unpreferred plants. Hare-grazing intensity decreased strongly with increasing abundance of unpreferred plants despite a high abundance of principal food plants. The results of this study indicate that plant species replacement is an important factor determining patch choice and spatial distribution of hares next to changing plant quality. Increasing abundance of unpreferred plant species can strengthen the decreasing patch quality with increasing standing crop and can decrease grazing intensity when preferred food plants are still abundantly present.

  12. Does vegetation complexity affect host plant chemistry, and thus multitrophic interactions, in a human-altered landscape?

    PubMed

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2015-09-01

    Anthropogenic land use may shape vegetation composition and affect trophic interactions by altering concentrations of host plant metabolites. Here, we investigated the hypotheses that: (1) plant N and defensive secondary metabolite contents of the herb Plantago lanceolata are affected by land use intensity (LUI) and the surrounding vegetation composition (=plant species richness and P. lanceolata density), and that (2) changes in plant chemistry affect abundances of the herbivorous weevils Mecinus pascuorum and Mecinus labilis, as well as their larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus, in the field. We determined plant species richness, P. lanceolata density, and abundances of the herbivores and the parasitoid in 77 grassland plots differing in LUI index in three regions across Germany. We also measured the N and secondary metabolite [the iridoid glycosides (IGs) aucubin and catalpol] contents of P. lanceolata leaves. Mixed-model analysis revealed that: (1) concentrations of leaf IGs were positively correlated with plant species richness; leaf N content was positively correlated with the LUI index. Furthermore: (2) herbivore abundance was not related to IG concentrations, but correlated negatively with leaf N content. Parasitoid abundance correlated positively only with host abundance over the three regions. Structural equation models revealed a positive impact of IG concentrations on parasitoid abundance in one region. We conclude that changes in plant chemistry due to land use and/or vegetation composition may affect higher trophic levels and that the manifestation of these effects may depend on local biotic or abiotic features of the landscape. PMID:25986560

  13. Does vegetation complexity affect host plant chemistry, and thus multitrophic interactions, in a human-altered landscape?

    PubMed

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2015-09-01

    Anthropogenic land use may shape vegetation composition and affect trophic interactions by altering concentrations of host plant metabolites. Here, we investigated the hypotheses that: (1) plant N and defensive secondary metabolite contents of the herb Plantago lanceolata are affected by land use intensity (LUI) and the surrounding vegetation composition (=plant species richness and P. lanceolata density), and that (2) changes in plant chemistry affect abundances of the herbivorous weevils Mecinus pascuorum and Mecinus labilis, as well as their larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus, in the field. We determined plant species richness, P. lanceolata density, and abundances of the herbivores and the parasitoid in 77 grassland plots differing in LUI index in three regions across Germany. We also measured the N and secondary metabolite [the iridoid glycosides (IGs) aucubin and catalpol] contents of P. lanceolata leaves. Mixed-model analysis revealed that: (1) concentrations of leaf IGs were positively correlated with plant species richness; leaf N content was positively correlated with the LUI index. Furthermore: (2) herbivore abundance was not related to IG concentrations, but correlated negatively with leaf N content. Parasitoid abundance correlated positively only with host abundance over the three regions. Structural equation models revealed a positive impact of IG concentrations on parasitoid abundance in one region. We conclude that changes in plant chemistry due to land use and/or vegetation composition may affect higher trophic levels and that the manifestation of these effects may depend on local biotic or abiotic features of the landscape.

  14. Does nitrate co-pollution affect biological responses of an aquatic plant to two common herbicides?

    PubMed

    Nuttens, A; Chatellier, S; Devin, S; Guignard, C; Lenouvel, A; Gross, E M

    2016-08-01

    Aquatic systems in agricultural landscapes are subjected to multiple stressors, among them pesticide and nitrate run-off, but effects of both together have rarely been studied. We investigated possible stress-specific and interaction effects using the new OECD test organism, Myriophyllum spicatum, a widespread aquatic plant. In a fully factorial design, we used two widely applied herbicides, isoproturon and mesosulfuron-methyl, in concentration-response curves at two nitrate levels (219.63 and 878.52mg N-NO3). We applied different endpoints reflecting plant performance such as growth, pigment content, content in phenolic compounds, and plant stoichiometry. Relative growth rates based on length (RGR-L) were affected strongly by both herbicides, while effects on relative growth rate based on dry weight (RGR-DW) were apparent for isoproturon but hardly visible for mesosulfuron-methyl due to an increase in dry matter content. The higher nitrate level further reduced growth rates, specifically with mesosulfuron-methyl. Effects were visible between 50 and 500μgL(-1) for isoproturon and 0.5-5μgL(-1) for mesosulfuron-methyl, with some differences between endpoints. The two herbicides had opposite effects on chlorophyll, carotenoid and nitrogen contents in plants, with values increasing with increasing concentrations of isoproturon and decreasing for mesosulfuron-methyl. Herbicides and nitrate level exhibited distinct effects on the content in phenolic compounds, with higher nitrate levels reducing total phenolic compounds in controls and with isoproturon, but not with mesosulfuron-methyl. Increasing concentrations of mesosulfuron-methyl lead to a decline of total phenolic compounds, while isoproturon had little effect. Contents of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus changed depending on the stressor combination. We observed higher phosphorus levels in plants exposed to certain concentrations of herbicides, potentially indicating a metabolic response. The C:N molar ratio

  15. Does nitrate co-pollution affect biological responses of an aquatic plant to two common herbicides?

    PubMed

    Nuttens, A; Chatellier, S; Devin, S; Guignard, C; Lenouvel, A; Gross, E M

    2016-08-01

    Aquatic systems in agricultural landscapes are subjected to multiple stressors, among them pesticide and nitrate run-off, but effects of both together have rarely been studied. We investigated possible stress-specific and interaction effects using the new OECD test organism, Myriophyllum spicatum, a widespread aquatic plant. In a fully factorial design, we used two widely applied herbicides, isoproturon and mesosulfuron-methyl, in concentration-response curves at two nitrate levels (219.63 and 878.52mg N-NO3). We applied different endpoints reflecting plant performance such as growth, pigment content, content in phenolic compounds, and plant stoichiometry. Relative growth rates based on length (RGR-L) were affected strongly by both herbicides, while effects on relative growth rate based on dry weight (RGR-DW) were apparent for isoproturon but hardly visible for mesosulfuron-methyl due to an increase in dry matter content. The higher nitrate level further reduced growth rates, specifically with mesosulfuron-methyl. Effects were visible between 50 and 500μgL(-1) for isoproturon and 0.5-5μgL(-1) for mesosulfuron-methyl, with some differences between endpoints. The two herbicides had opposite effects on chlorophyll, carotenoid and nitrogen contents in plants, with values increasing with increasing concentrations of isoproturon and decreasing for mesosulfuron-methyl. Herbicides and nitrate level exhibited distinct effects on the content in phenolic compounds, with higher nitrate levels reducing total phenolic compounds in controls and with isoproturon, but not with mesosulfuron-methyl. Increasing concentrations of mesosulfuron-methyl lead to a decline of total phenolic compounds, while isoproturon had little effect. Contents of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus changed depending on the stressor combination. We observed higher phosphorus levels in plants exposed to certain concentrations of herbicides, potentially indicating a metabolic response. The C:N molar ratio

  16. Ozone Differentially Affects Perception of Plant Volatiles in Western Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Dötterl, Stefan; Vater, Marina; Rupp, Thomas; Held, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Floral scents play a key role in mediating plant-pollinator interactions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by flowers are used by flower visitors as olfactory cues to locate flowers, both from a distance and at close range. More recently it has been demonstrated that reactive molecules such as ozone can modify or degrade VOCs, and this may impair the communication between plants and their pollinators. However, it is not known whether such reactive molecules also may affect the olfactory system of pollinators, and thus not only influence signal transmission but perception of the signal. In this study, we used electroantennographic measurements to determine the effect of increased levels of ozone on antennal responses in western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Linalool and 2-phenylethanol, both known to be involved in location of flowers by the bees, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, a widespread green leaf volatile also detected by bees, were used. The results showed that ozone affected antennal responses to the different substances differently. Ozone decreased antennal responses to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, whereas responses to linalool and 2-phenylethanol were not influenced by ozone. Overall, the study does not provide evidence that pollination by honey bees is impaired by damage in the olfactory system of the bees caused by increased levels of ozone, at least when linalool and 2-phenylethanol are the attractive signals. However, the results also suggest that ozone can change the overall perception of an odor blend. This might have negative effects in pollination systems and other organismic interactions mediated by specific ratios of compounds. PMID:27344162

  17. Spatial environmental heterogeneity affects plant growth and thermal performance on a green roof.

    PubMed

    Buckland-Nicks, Michael; Heim, Amy; Lundholm, Jeremy

    2016-05-15

    Green roofs provide ecosystem services, including stormwater retention and reductions in heat transfer through the roof. Microclimates, as well as designed features of green roofs, such as substrate and vegetation, affect the magnitude of these services. Many green roofs are partially shaded by surrounding buildings, but the effects of this within-roof spatial environmental heterogeneity on thermal performance and other ecosystem services have not been examined. We quantified the effects of spatial heterogeneity in solar radiation, substrate depth and other variables affected by these drivers on vegetation and ecosystem services in an extensive green roof. Spatial heterogeneity in substrate depth and insolation were correlated with differential growth, survival and flowering in two focal plant species. These effects were likely driven by the resulting spatial heterogeneity in substrate temperature and moisture content. Thermal performance (indicated by heat flux and substrate temperature) was influenced by spatial heterogeneity in vegetation cover and substrate depth. Areas with less insolation were cooler in summer and had greater substrate moisture, leading to more favorable conditions for plant growth and survival. Spatial variation in substrate moisture (7%-26% volumetric moisture content) and temperature (21°C-36°C) during hot sunny conditions in summer could cause large differences in stormwater retention and heat flux within a single green roof. Shaded areas promote smaller heat fluxes through the roof, leading to energy savings, but lower evapotranspiration in these areas should reduce stormwater retention capacity. Spatial heterogeneity can thus result in trade-offs between different ecosystem services. The effects of these spatial heterogeneities are likely widespread in green roofs. Structures that provide shelter from sun and wind may be productively utilized to design higher functioning green roofs and increase biodiversity by providing habitat

  18. Spatial environmental heterogeneity affects plant growth and thermal performance on a green roof.

    PubMed

    Buckland-Nicks, Michael; Heim, Amy; Lundholm, Jeremy

    2016-05-15

    Green roofs provide ecosystem services, including stormwater retention and reductions in heat transfer through the roof. Microclimates, as well as designed features of green roofs, such as substrate and vegetation, affect the magnitude of these services. Many green roofs are partially shaded by surrounding buildings, but the effects of this within-roof spatial environmental heterogeneity on thermal performance and other ecosystem services have not been examined. We quantified the effects of spatial heterogeneity in solar radiation, substrate depth and other variables affected by these drivers on vegetation and ecosystem services in an extensive green roof. Spatial heterogeneity in substrate depth and insolation were correlated with differential growth, survival and flowering in two focal plant species. These effects were likely driven by the resulting spatial heterogeneity in substrate temperature and moisture content. Thermal performance (indicated by heat flux and substrate temperature) was influenced by spatial heterogeneity in vegetation cover and substrate depth. Areas with less insolation were cooler in summer and had greater substrate moisture, leading to more favorable conditions for plant growth and survival. Spatial variation in substrate moisture (7%-26% volumetric moisture content) and temperature (21°C-36°C) during hot sunny conditions in summer could cause large differences in stormwater retention and heat flux within a single green roof. Shaded areas promote smaller heat fluxes through the roof, leading to energy savings, but lower evapotranspiration in these areas should reduce stormwater retention capacity. Spatial heterogeneity can thus result in trade-offs between different ecosystem services. The effects of these spatial heterogeneities are likely widespread in green roofs. Structures that provide shelter from sun and wind may be productively utilized to design higher functioning green roofs and increase biodiversity by providing habitat

  19. Decreased summer drought affects plant productivity and soil carbon dynamics in a Mediterranean woodland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotrufo, M. F.; Alberti, G.; Inglima, I.; Marjanović, H.; Lecain, D.; Zaldei, A.; Peressotti, A.; Miglietta, F.

    2011-09-01

    Precipitation patterns are expected to change in the Mediterranean region within the next decades, with projected decreases in total rainfall and increases in extreme events. We manipulated precipitation patterns in a Mediterranean woodland, dominated by Arbutus unedo L., to study the effects of changing precipitation regimes on above-ground net primary production (ANPP) and soil C dynamics, specifically plant-derived C input to soil and soil respiration (SR). Experimental plots were exposed to either a 20 % reduction of throughfall or to water addition targeted at maintaining soil water content above a minimum of 10 % v/v. Treatments were compared to control plots which received ambient precipitation. Enhanced soil moisture during summer months highly stimulated annual stem primary production, litter fall, SR and net annual plant-derived C input to soil which on average increased by 130 %, 26 %, 58 % and 220 %, respectively, as compared to the control. In contrast, the 20 % reduction in throughfall (equivalent to 10 % reduction in precipitation) did not significantly change soil moisture at the site, and therefore did not significantly affect ANPP or SR. We conclude that minor changes (around 10 % reduction) in precipitation amount are not likely to significantly affect ANPP or soil C dynamics in Mediterranean woodlands. However, if summer rain increases, C cycling will significantly accelerate but soil C stocks are not likely to be changed in the short-term. More studies involving modelling of long-term C dynamics are needed to predict if the estimated increases in soil C input under wet conditions is going to be sustained and if labile C is being substituted to stable C, with a negative effect on long-term soil C stocks.

  20. Decreased summer drought affects plant productivity and soil carbon dynamics in Mediterranean woodland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotrufo, M. F.; Alberti, G.; Inglima, I.; Marjanović, H.; Lecain, D.; Zaldei, A.; Peressotti, A.; Miglietta, F.

    2011-06-01

    Precipitation patterns are expected to change in the Mediterranean region within the next decades, with projected decreases in total rainfall and increases in extreme events. We manipulated precipitation patterns in a Mediterranean woodland, dominated by Arbutus unedo L., to study the effects of changing precipitation regimes on above-ground net primary production (ANPP) and soil C dynamics, specifically plant-derived C input to soil and soil respiration (SR). Experimental plots were exposed to either a 20 % reduction of throughfall or to water addition targeted at maintaining soil water content above a minimum of 10 % v/v. Treatments were compared to control plots which received ambient precipitation. The throughfall manipulation experiment started in 2004 and we report data up to the 2009 growing season. Enhanced soil moisture during summer months highly stimulated annual stem primary production, litter fall, SR and net annual plant-derived C input to soil which on average increased by 130 %, 26 %, 50 % and 220 %, respectively, as compared to control. In contrast, the 20 % reduction in throughfall (equivalent to 10 % reduction of precipitation) did not significantly change soil moisture at the site, and therefore did not significantly affect ANPP or SR. We conclude that minor changes (around 10 % reduction) in precipitation amount are not likely to significantly affect ANPP or soil C dynamics in Mediterranean woodland. However, if summer rain increases, C cycling will significantly accelerate but soil C stocks are not likely to be changed in the short-term. More studies involving modelling of long term C dynamics are needed to predict if the estimated increases in soil C input under wet conditions is going to be sustained and if labile C is being substituted to stable C, with a negative effect on long term soil C stocks.

  1. Riparian Vegetation Response to the March 2008 Short-Duration, High-Flow Experiment-Implications of Timing and Frequency of Flood Disturbance on Nonnative Plant Establishment Along the Colorado River Below Glen Canyon Dam

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ralston, Barbara E.

    2010-01-01

    Riparian plant communities exhibit various levels of diversity and richness. These communities are affected by flooding and are vulnerable to colonization by nonnative species. Since 1996, a series of three high-flow experiments (HFE), or water releases designed to mimic natural seasonal flooding, have been conducted at Glen Canyon Dam, Ariz., primarily to determine the effectiveness of using high flows to conserve sediment, a limited resource. These experiments also provide opportunities to examine the susceptibility of riparian plant communities to nonnative species invasions. The third and most recent HFE was conducted from March 5 to 9, 2008, and scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center examined the effects of high flows on riparian vegetation as part of the overall experiment. Total plant species richness, nonnative species richness, percent plant cover, percent organic matter, and total carbon measured from sediment samples were compared for Grand Canyon riparian vegetation zones immediately following the HFE and 6 months later. These comparisons were used to determine if susceptibility to nonnative species establishment varied among riparian vegetation zones and if the timing of the HFE affected nonnative plant establishment success. The 2008 HFE primarily buried vegetation rather than scouring it. Percent nonnative cover did not differ among riparian vegetation zones; however, in the river corridor affected by Glen Canyon Dam operations, nonnative species richness showed significant variation. For example, species richness was significantly greater immediately after and 6 months following the HFE in the hydrologic zone farthest away from the shoreline, the area that represents the oldest riparian zone within the post-dam riparian area. In areas closer to the river channel, tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima X chinensis) seedling establishment occurred (<2 percent cover) in 2008 but not to the extent reported in

  2. Glycogen catabolism, but not its biosynthesis, affects virulence of Fusarium oxysporum on the plant host.

    PubMed

    Corral-Ramos, Cristina; Roncero, M Isabel G

    2015-04-01

    The role of glycogen metabolism was investigated in the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum. Targeted inactivation was performed of genes responsible for glycogen biosynthesis: gnn1 encoding glycogenin, gls1 encoding glycogen synthase, and gbe1 encoding glycogen branching enzyme. Moreover genes involved in glycogen catabolism were deleted: gph1 encoding glycogen phosphorylase and gdb1 encoding glycogen de-branching enzyme. Glycogen reserves increased steadily during growth of the wild type strain in axenic cultures, to reach up to 1500μg glucose equivalents mg(-1) protein after 14 days. Glycogen accumulation was abolished in mutants lacking biosynthesis genes, whereas it increased by 20-40% or 80%, respectively, in the single and double mutants affected in catabolic genes. Transcript levels of glycogen metabolism genes during tomato plant infection peaked at four days post inoculation, similar to the results observed during axenic culture. Significant differences were observed between gdb mutants and the wild type strain for vegetative hyphal fusion ability. The single mutants defective in glycogen metabolism showed similar levels of virulence in the invertebrate animal model Galleria mellonella. Interestingly, the deletion of gdb1 reduced virulence on the plant host up to 40% compared to the wild type in single and in double mutant backgrounds, whereas the other mutants showed the virulence at the wild-type level.

  3. Parental age affects somatic mutation rates in the progeny of flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Singh, Amit Kumar; Bashir, Tufail; Sailer, Christian; Gurumoorthy, Viswanathan; Ramakrishnan, Anantha Maharasi; Dhanapal, Shanmuhapreya; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Baskar, Ramamurthy

    2015-05-01

    In humans, it is well known that the parental reproductive age has a strong influence on mutations transmitted to their progeny. Meiotic nondisjunction is known to increase in older mothers, and base substitutions tend to go up with paternal reproductive age. Hence, it is clear that the germinal mutation rates are a function of both maternal and paternal ages in humans. In contrast, it is unknown whether the parental reproductive age has an effect on somatic mutation rates in the progeny, because these are rare and difficult to detect. To address this question, we took advantage of the plant model system Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), where mutation detector lines allow for an easy quantitation of somatic mutations, to test the effect of parental age on somatic mutation rates in the progeny. Although we found no significant effect of parental age on base substitutions, we found that frameshift mutations and transposition events increased in the progeny of older parents, an effect that is stronger through the maternal line. In contrast, intrachromosomal recombination events in the progeny decrease with the age of the parents in a parent-of-origin-dependent manner. Our results clearly show that parental reproductive age affects somatic mutation rates in the progeny and, thus, that some form of age-dependent information, which affects the frequency of double-strand breaks and possibly other processes involved in maintaining genome integrity, is transmitted through the gametes. PMID:25810093

  4. Factors affecting choice of plant species for revegetation on the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Fuchs, M.R.; Cox, G.R.

    1983-04-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate three sites with vegetative communities whose dominant perennial grass species were Siberian wheatgrass-thickspike wheatgrass (Agropyron sibiricum-Agropyron dasytachyum), Indian ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides), and Sandberg's bluegrass (Poa sandbergii), respectively. The principal objectives of the study were to determine the following: whether soil conditions influenced the establishment of these stands; the extent of these perennial grass species as members of the vegetation community on the Hanford Site prior to human influences, e.g., animal grazing, fire, construction, and excavation; and whether these perennial grasses could be established on other sites to be stabilized. The information obtained from this study has resulted in the following conclusions and recommendations: The depth of the soil to coarse sediments, the soil texture, and the percentage of gravel in the soil appear to affect the vegetation community on a site. It is recommended that Siberian, thickspike, and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) be utilized for revegetation purposes on deep fine-textured soils of low gravel content. It is recommended that for revegetation purposes on shallow, coarse-textured or high gravel content soils, Indian ricegrass, needle and thread grass (Stipa comata), Sandberg's bluegrass, and sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus) be utilized. Greater success in stabilization/revegetation programs will be achieved if deep, fine-textured soils are utilized.

  5. Plant maturity and nitrogen fertilization affected fructan metabolism in harvestable tissues of timothy (Phleum pratense L.).

    PubMed

    Ould-Ahmed, Marouf; Decau, Marie-Laure; Morvan-Bertrand, Annette; Prud'homme, Marie-Pascale; Lafrenière, Carole; Drouin, Pascal

    2014-10-15

    Timothy (Phleum pratense L.) is an important grass forage used for pasture, hay, and silage in regions with cool and humid growth seasons. One of the factors affecting the nutritive value of this grass is the concentration of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), mainly represented by fructans. NSC concentration depends on multiple factors, making it hardly predictable. To provide a better understanding of NSC metabolism in timothy, the effects of maturity stage and nitrogen (N) fertilization level on biomass, NSC and N-compound concentrations were investigated in the tissues used for forage (leaf blades and stems surrounded by leaf sheaths) of hydroponically grown plants. Moreover, activities and relative expression level of enzymes involved in fructan metabolism were measured in the same tissues. Forage biomass was not altered by the fertilization level but was strongly modified by the stage of development. It increased from vegetative to heading stages while leaf-to-stem biomass ratio decreased. Total NSC concentration, which was not altered by N fertilization level, increased between heading and anthesis due to an accumulation of fructans in leaf blades. Fructan metabolizing enzyme activities (fructosyltransferase-FT and fructan exohydrolase-FEH) were not or only slightly altered by both maturity stage and N fertilization level. Conversely, the relative transcript levels of genes coding for enzymes involved in fructan metabolism were modified by N supply (PpFT1 and Pp6-FEH1) or maturity stage (PpFT2). The relative transcript level of PpFT1 was the highest in low N plants while that of Pp6-FEH1 was the highest in high N plants. Morevoer, transcript level of PpFT1 was negatively correlated with nitrate concentration while that of PpFT2 was positively correlated with sucrose concentration. This distinct regulation of the two genes coding for 6-sucrose:fructan fructosyltransferase (6-SFT) may allow a fine adequation of C allocation towards fructan synthesis in

  6. Herbivory Differentially Affects Plant Fitness in Three Populations of the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria along a Latitudinal Gradient.

    PubMed

    Lehndal, Lina; Ågren, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory can negatively and selectively affect plant fitness by reducing growth, survival and reproductive output, thereby influencing plant population dynamics and evolution. Latitudinal variation in intensity of herbivory is common, but the extent to which it translates into corresponding variation in effects on plant performance is still poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the fitness-consequences of herbivory mirror differences in intensity of herbivory among three natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a latitudinal gradient from southern to northernmost Sweden. We documented intensity of herbivory and examined its effect on survival, growth and reproductive output over two years by experimentally removing herbivores with insecticide. The intensity of herbivory and the effects of herbivory on plant fitness were strongest in the southern population, intermediate in the central population and weakest in the northern population. The mean proportion of the leaf area removed ranged from 11% in the southern to 3% in the northern population. Herbivore removal increased plant height 1.5-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, the proportion plants flowering 4-fold in the southern and 2-fold in the central population, and seed production per flower 1.6-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, but did not affect plant fitness in the northern population. Herbivore removal thus affected the relative fecundity of plants in the three populations: In the control, seed output per plant was 8.6 times higher in the northern population compared to the southern population, whereas after herbivore removal it was 2.5 times higher in the southern population. The results demonstrate that native herbivores may strongly affect the demographic structure of L. salicaria populations and thereby shape geographic patterns of seed production. They further suggest that the strength of herbivore

  7. Herbivory Differentially Affects Plant Fitness in Three Populations of the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria along a Latitudinal Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Lehndal, Lina; Ågren, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory can negatively and selectively affect plant fitness by reducing growth, survival and reproductive output, thereby influencing plant population dynamics and evolution. Latitudinal variation in intensity of herbivory is common, but the extent to which it translates into corresponding variation in effects on plant performance is still poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the fitness-consequences of herbivory mirror differences in intensity of herbivory among three natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a latitudinal gradient from southern to northernmost Sweden. We documented intensity of herbivory and examined its effect on survival, growth and reproductive output over two years by experimentally removing herbivores with insecticide. The intensity of herbivory and the effects of herbivory on plant fitness were strongest in the southern population, intermediate in the central population and weakest in the northern population. The mean proportion of the leaf area removed ranged from 11% in the southern to 3% in the northern population. Herbivore removal increased plant height 1.5-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, the proportion plants flowering 4-fold in the southern and 2-fold in the central population, and seed production per flower 1.6-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, but did not affect plant fitness in the northern population. Herbivore removal thus affected the relative fecundity of plants in the three populations: In the control, seed output per plant was 8.6 times higher in the northern population compared to the southern population, whereas after herbivore removal it was 2.5 times higher in the southern population. The results demonstrate that native herbivores may strongly affect the demographic structure of L. salicaria populations and thereby shape geographic patterns of seed production. They further suggest that the strength of herbivore

  8. Alkaloid Quantities in Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue are Affected by the Plant-Fungus Combination and Environment.

    PubMed

    Helander, M; Phillips, T; Faeth, S H; Bush, L P; McCulley, R; Saloniemi, I; Saikkonen, K

    2016-02-01

    Many grass species are symbiotic with systemic, vertically-transmitted, asymptomatic Epichloë endophytic fungi. These fungi often produce alkaloids that defend the host against herbivores. We studied how environmental variables affect alkaloids in endophyte-infected tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix) from three Northern European wild origins and the widely planted US cultivar 'Kentucky-31' (KY31). The plants were grown in identical common garden experiments in Finland and Kentucky for two growing seasons. Plants were left as controls (C) or given water (W), nutrient (N) or water and nutrient (WN) treatments. For 8-10 replications of each plant origin and treatment combination in both experiments, we analyzed ergot alkaloids, lysergic acid, and lolines. In Finland, tall fescue plants produced 50 % more ergot alkaloids compared to plants of the same origin and treatments in Kentucky. Origin of the plants affected the ergot alkaloid concentration at both study sites: the wild origin plants produced 2-4 times more ergot alkaloids than KY31, but the ergot alkaloid concentration of KY31 plants was the same at both locations. Overall lysergic acid content was 60 % higher in plants grown in Kentucky than in those grown in Finland. Nutrient treatments (N, WN) significantly increased ergot alkaloid concentrations in plants from Finland but not in plants from Kentucky. These results suggest that the success of KY31 in US is not due to selection for high ergot alkaloid production but rather other traits associated with the endophyte. In addition, the environmental effects causing variation in alkaloid production of grass-endophyte combinations should be taken into account when using endophyte-infected grasses agriculturally. PMID:26815170

  9. Rhizosphere Microbial Community Composition Affects Cadmium and Zinc Uptake by the Metal-Hyperaccumulating Plant Arabidopsis halleri

    PubMed Central

    Muehe, E. Marie; Weigold, Pascal; Adaktylou, Irini J.; Planer-Friedrich, Britta; Kraemer, Ute; Kappler, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The remediation of metal-contaminated soils by phytoextraction depends on plant growth and plant metal accessibility. Soil microorganisms can affect the accumulation of metals by plants either by directly or indirectly stimulating plant growth and activity or by (im)mobilizing and/or complexing metals. Understanding the intricate interplay of metal-accumulating plants with their rhizosphere microbiome is an important step toward the application and optimization of phytoremediation. We compared the effects of a “native” and a strongly disturbed (gamma-irradiated) soil microbial communities on cadmium and zinc accumulation by the plant Arabidopsis halleri in soil microcosm experiments. A. halleri accumulated 100% more cadmium and 15% more zinc when grown on the untreated than on the gamma-irradiated soil. Gamma irradiation affected neither plant growth nor the 1 M HCl-extractable metal content of the soil. However, it strongly altered the soil microbial community composition and overall cell numbers. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons of DNA extracted from rhizosphere samples of A. halleri identified microbial taxa (Lysobacter, Streptomyces, Agromyces, Nitrospira, “Candidatus Chloracidobacterium”) of higher relative sequence abundance in the rhizospheres of A. halleri plants grown on untreated than on gamma-irradiated soil, leading to hypotheses on their potential effect on plant metal uptake. However, further experimental evidence is required, and wherefore we discuss different mechanisms of interaction of A. halleri with its rhizosphere microbiome that might have directly or indirectly affected plant metal accumulation. Deciphering the complex interactions between A. halleri and individual microbial taxa will help to further develop soil metal phytoextraction as an efficient and sustainable remediation strategy. PMID:25595759

  10. Salt tolerant plants increase nitrogen removal from biofiltration systems affected by saline stormwater.

    PubMed

    Szota, Christopher; Farrell, Claire; Livesley, Stephen J; Fletcher, Tim D

    2015-10-15

    Biofiltration systems are used in urban areas to reduce the concentration and load of nutrient pollutants and heavy metals entering waterways through stormwater runoff. Biofilters can, however be exposed to salt water, through intrusion of seawater in coastal areas which could decrease their ability to intercept and retain pollutants. We measured the effect of adding saline stormwater on pollutant removal by six monocotyledonous species with different levels of salt-tolerance. Carex appressa, Carex bichenoviana, Ficinia nodosa, Gahnia filum, Juncus kraussii and Juncus usitatus were exposed to six concentrations of saline stormwater, equivalent to electrical conductivity readings of: 0.09, 2.3, 5.5, 10.4, 20.0 and 37.6 mS cm(-1). Salt-sensitive species: C. appressa, C. bichenoviana and J. usitatus did not survive ≥10.4 mS cm(-1), removing their ability to take up nitrogen (N). Salt-tolerant species, such as F. nodosa and J. kraussii, maintained N-removal even at the highest salt concentration. However, their levels of water stress and stomatal conductance suggest that N-removal would not be sustained at concentrations ≥10.4 mS cm(-1). Increasing salt concentration indirectly increased phosphorus (P) removal, by converting dissolved forms of P to particulate forms which were retained by filter media. Salt concentrations ≥10 mS cm(-1) also reduced removal efficiency of zinc, manganese and cadmium, but increased removal of iron and lead, regardless of plant species. Our results suggest that biofiltration systems exposed to saline stormwater ≤10 mS cm(-1) can only maintain N-removal when planted with salt-tolerant species, while P removal and immobilisation of heavy metals is less affected by species selection.

  11. Polycomb Protein OsFIE2 Affects Plant Height and Grain Yield in Rice

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Zhonghua; Jiao, Guiai; Tang, Shaoqing; Luo, Ju; Hu, Peisong

    2016-01-01

    Polycomb group (PcG) proteins have been shown to affect growth and development in plants. To further elucidate their role in these processes in rice, we isolated and characterized a rice mutant which exhibits dwarfism, reduced seed setting rate, defective floral organ, and small grains. Map-based cloning revealed that abnormal phenotypes were attributed to a mutation of the Fertilization Independent Endosperm 2 (OsFIE2) protein, which belongs to the PcG protein family. So we named the mutant as osfie2-1. Histological analysis revealed that the number of longitudinal cells in the internodes decreased in osfie2-1, and that lateral cell layer of the internodes was markedly thinner than wild-type. In addition, compared to wild-type, the number of large and small vascular bundles decreased in osfie2-1, as well as cell number and cell size in spikelet hulls. OsFIE2 is expressed in most tissues and the coded protein localizes in both nucleus and cytoplasm. Yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays demonstrated that OsFIE2 interacts with OsiEZ1 which encodes an enhancer of zeste protein previously identified as a histone methylation enzyme. RNA sequencing-based transcriptome profiling and qRT-PCR analysis revealed that some homeotic genes and genes involved in endosperm starch synthesis, cell division/expansion and hormone synthesis and signaling are differentially expressed between osfie2-1 and wild-type. In addition, the contents of IAA, GA3, ABA, JA and SA in osfie2-1 are significantly different from those in wild-type. Taken together, these results indicate that OsFIE2 plays an important role in the regulation of plant height and grain yield in rice. PMID:27764161

  12. Above- and belowground linkages in Sphagnum peatland: climate warming affects plant-microbial interactions.

    PubMed

    Jassey, Vincent E J; Chiapusio, Geneviève; Binet, Philippe; Buttler, Alexandre; Laggoun-Défarge, Fatima; Delarue, Frédéric; Bernard, Nadine; Mitchell, Edward A D; Toussaint, Marie-Laure; Francez, André-Jean; Gilbert, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Peatlands contain approximately one third of all soil organic carbon (SOC). Warming can alter above- and belowground linkages that regulate soil organic carbon dynamics and C-balance in peatlands. Here we examine the multiyear impact of in situ experimental warming on the microbial food web, vegetation, and their feedbacks with soil chemistry. We provide evidence of both positive and negative impacts of warming on specific microbial functional groups, leading to destabilization of the microbial food web. We observed a strong reduction (70%) in the biomass of top-predators (testate amoebae) in warmed plots. Such a loss caused a shortening of microbial food chains, which in turn stimulated microbial activity, leading to slight increases in levels of nutrients and labile C in water. We further show that warming altered the regulatory role of Sphagnum-polyphenols on microbial community structure with a potential inhibition of top predators. In addition, warming caused a decrease in Sphagnum cover and an increase in vascular plant cover. Using structural equation modelling, we show that changes in the microbial food web affected the relationships between plants, soil water chemistry, and microbial communities. These results suggest that warming will destabilize C and nutrient recycling of peatlands via changes in above- and belowground linkages, and therefore, the microbial food web associated with mosses will feedback positively to global warming by destabilizing the carbon cycle. This study confirms that microbial food webs thus constitute a key element in the functioning of peatland ecosystems. Their study can help understand how mosses, as ecosystem engineers, tightly regulate biogeochemical cycling and climate feedback in peatlands.

  13. Salt tolerant plants increase nitrogen removal from biofiltration systems affected by saline stormwater.

    PubMed

    Szota, Christopher; Farrell, Claire; Livesley, Stephen J; Fletcher, Tim D

    2015-10-15

    Biofiltration systems are used in urban areas to reduce the concentration and load of nutrient pollutants and heavy metals entering waterways through stormwater runoff. Biofilters can, however be exposed to salt water, through intrusion of seawater in coastal areas which could decrease their ability to intercept and retain pollutants. We measured the effect of adding saline stormwater on pollutant removal by six monocotyledonous species with different levels of salt-tolerance. Carex appressa, Carex bichenoviana, Ficinia nodosa, Gahnia filum, Juncus kraussii and Juncus usitatus were exposed to six concentrations of saline stormwater, equivalent to electrical conductivity readings of: 0.09, 2.3, 5.5, 10.4, 20.0 and 37.6 mS cm(-1). Salt-sensitive species: C. appressa, C. bichenoviana and J. usitatus did not survive ≥10.4 mS cm(-1), removing their ability to take up nitrogen (N). Salt-tolerant species, such as F. nodosa and J. kraussii, maintained N-removal even at the highest salt concentration. However, their levels of water stress and stomatal conductance suggest that N-removal would not be sustained at concentrations ≥10.4 mS cm(-1). Increasing salt concentration indirectly increased phosphorus (P) removal, by converting dissolved forms of P to particulate forms which were retained by filter media. Salt concentrations ≥10 mS cm(-1) also reduced removal efficiency of zinc, manganese and cadmium, but increased removal of iron and lead, regardless of plant species. Our results suggest that biofiltration systems exposed to saline stormwater ≤10 mS cm(-1) can only maintain N-removal when planted with salt-tolerant species, while P removal and immobilisation of heavy metals is less affected by species selection. PMID:26150068

  14. Allelic differences in a vacuolar invertase affect Arabidopsis growth at early plant development.

    PubMed

    Leskow, Carla Coluccio; Kamenetzky, Laura; Dominguez, Pia Guadalupe; Díaz Zirpolo, José Antonio; Obata, Toshihiro; Costa, Hernán; Martí, Marcelo; Taboga, Oscar; Keurentjes, Joost; Sulpice, Ronan; Ishihara, Hirofumi; Stitt, Mark; Fernie, Alisdair Robert; Carrari, Fernando

    2016-07-01

    Improving carbon fixation in order to enhance crop yield is a major goal in plant sciences. By quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, it has been demonstrated that a vacuolar invertase (vac-Inv) plays a key role in determining the radical length in Arabidopsis. In this model, variation in vac-Inv activity was detected in a near isogenic line (NIL) population derived from a cross between two divergent accessions: Landsberg erecta (Ler) and Cape Verde Island (CVI), with the CVI allele conferring both higher Inv activity and longer radicles. The aim of the current work is to understand the mechanism(s) underlying this QTL by analyzing structural and functional differences of vac-Inv from both accessions. Relative transcript abundance analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) showed similar expression patterns in both accessions; however, DNA sequence analyses revealed several polymorphisms that lead to changes in the corresponding protein sequence. Moreover, activity assays revealed higher vac-Inv activity in genotypes carrying the CVI allele than in those carrying the Ler allele. Analyses of purified recombinant proteins showed a similar K m for both alleles and a slightly higher V max for that of Ler. Treatment of plant extracts with foaming to release possible interacting Inv inhibitory protein(s) led to a large increase in activity for the Ler allele, but no changes for genotypes carrying the CVI allele. qRT-PCR analyses of two vac-Inv inhibitors in seedlings from parental and NIL genotypes revealed different expression patterns. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the vac-Inv QTL affects root biomass accumulation and also carbon partitioning through a differential regulation of vac-Inv inhibitors at the mRNA level. PMID:27194734

  15. The Gastropod Menace: Slugs on Brassica Plants Affect Caterpillar Survival through Consumption and Interference with Parasitoid Attraction.

    PubMed

    Desurmont, Gaylord A; Zemanova, Miriam A; Turlings, Ted C J

    2016-03-01

    Terrestrial molluscs and insect herbivores play a major role as plant consumers in a number of ecosystems, but their direct and indirect interactions have hardly been explored. The omnivorous nature of slugs makes them potential disrupters of predator-prey relationships, as a direct threat to small insects and through indirect, plant-mediated effects. Here, we examined the effects of the presence of two species of slugs, Arion rufus (native) and A. vulgaris (invasive) on the survivorship of young Pieris brassicae caterpillars when feeding on Brassica rapa plants, and on plant attractiveness to the main natural enemy of P. brassicae, the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata. In two separate predation experiments, caterpillar mortality was significantly higher on plants co-infested with A. rufus or A. vulgaris. Moreover, caterpillar mortality correlated positively with slug mass and leaf consumption by A. vulgaris. At the third trophic level, plants infested with slugs and plants co-infested with slugs and caterpillars were far less attractive to parasitoids than plants damaged by caterpillars only, independently of slug species. Chemical analyses confirmed that volatile emissions, which provide foraging cues for parasitoids, were strongly reduced in co-infested plants. Our study shows that the presence of slugs has the potential to affect insect populations, directly via consumptive effects, and indirectly via changes in plant volatiles that result in a reduced attraction of natural enemies. The fitness cost for P. brassicae imposed by increased mortality in presence of slugs may be counterbalanced by the benefit of escaping its parasitoids.

  16. The Gastropod Menace: Slugs on Brassica Plants Affect Caterpillar Survival through Consumption and Interference with Parasitoid Attraction.

    PubMed

    Desurmont, Gaylord A; Zemanova, Miriam A; Turlings, Ted C J

    2016-03-01

    Terrestrial molluscs and insect herbivores play a major role as plant consumers in a number of ecosystems, but their direct and indirect interactions have hardly been explored. The omnivorous nature of slugs makes them potential disrupters of predator-prey relationships, as a direct threat to small insects and through indirect, plant-mediated effects. Here, we examined the effects of the presence of two species of slugs, Arion rufus (native) and A. vulgaris (invasive) on the survivorship of young Pieris brassicae caterpillars when feeding on Brassica rapa plants, and on plant attractiveness to the main natural enemy of P. brassicae, the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata. In two separate predation experiments, caterpillar mortality was significantly higher on plants co-infested with A. rufus or A. vulgaris. Moreover, caterpillar mortality correlated positively with slug mass and leaf consumption by A. vulgaris. At the third trophic level, plants infested with slugs and plants co-infested with slugs and caterpillars were far less attractive to parasitoids than plants damaged by caterpillars only, independently of slug species. Chemical analyses confirmed that volatile emissions, which provide foraging cues for parasitoids, were strongly reduced in co-infested plants. Our study shows that the presence of slugs has the potential to affect insect populations, directly via consumptive effects, and indirectly via changes in plant volatiles that result in a reduced attraction of natural enemies. The fitness cost for P. brassicae imposed by increased mortality in presence of slugs may be counterbalanced by the benefit of escaping its parasitoids. PMID:27002323

  17. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  18. Aphids Pick Their Poison: Selective Sequestration of Plant Chemicals Affects Host Plant Use in a Specialist Herbivore.

    PubMed

    Goodey, Nicole A; Florance, Hannah V; Smirnoff, Nicholas; Hodgson, Dave J

    2015-10-01

    In some plant-insect interactions, specialist herbivores exploit the chemical defenses of their food plant to their own advantage. Brassica plants produce glucosinolates that are broken down into defensive toxins when tissue is damaged, but the specialist aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae, uses these chemicals against its own natural enemies by becoming a "walking mustard-oil bomb". Analysis of glucosinolate concentrations in plant tissue and associated aphid colonies reveals that not only do aphids sequester glucosinolates, but they do so selectively. Aphids specifically accumulate sinigrin to high concentrations while preferentially excreting a structurally similar glucosinolate, progoitrin. Surveys of aphid infestation in wild populations of Brassica oleracea show that this pattern of sequestration and excretion maps onto host plant use. The probability of aphid infestation decreases with increasing concentrations of progoitrin in plants. Brassica brassicae, therefore, appear to select among food plants according to plant secondary metabolite profiles, and selectively store only some compounds that are used against their own enemies. The results demonstrate chemical and behavioral mechanisms that help to explain evidence of geographic patterns and evolutionary dynamics in Brassica-aphid interactions. PMID:26411571

  19. Aphids Pick Their Poison: Selective Sequestration of Plant Chemicals Affects Host Plant Use in a Specialist Herbivore.

    PubMed

    Goodey, Nicole A; Florance, Hannah V; Smirnoff, Nicholas; Hodgson, Dave J

    2015-10-01

    In some plant-insect interactions, specialist herbivores exploit the chemical defenses of their food plant to their own advantage. Brassica plants produce glucosinolates that are broken down into defensive toxins when tissue is damaged, but the specialist aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae, uses these chemicals against its own natural enemies by becoming a "walking mustard-oil bomb". Analysis of glucosinolate concentrations in plant tissue and associated aphid colonies reveals that not only do aphids sequester glucosinolates, but they do so selectively. Aphids specifically accumulate sinigrin to high concentrations while preferentially excreting a structurally similar glucosinolate, progoitrin. Surveys of aphid infestation in wild populations of Brassica oleracea show that this pattern of sequestration and excretion maps onto host plant use. The probability of aphid infestation decreases with increasing concentrations of progoitrin in plants. Brassica brassicae, therefore, appear to select among food plants according to plant secondary metabolite profiles, and selectively store only some compounds that are used against their own enemies. The results demonstrate chemical and behavioral mechanisms that help to explain evidence of geographic patterns and evolutionary dynamics in Brassica-aphid interactions.

  20. Species-abundance--seed-size patterns within a plant community affected by grazing disturbance.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gao-lin; Shang, Zhan-huan; Zhu, Yuan-jun; Ding, Lu-ming; Wang, Dong

    2015-04-01

    Seed size has been advanced as a key factor that influences the dynamics of plant communities, but there are few empirical or theoretical predictions of how community dynamics progress based on seed size patterns. Information on the abundance of adults, seedlings, soil seed banks, seed rains, and the seed mass of 96 species was collected in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China), which had different levels of grazing disturbance. The relationships between seed-mass-abundance patterns for adults, seedlings, the soil seed bank, and seed rain in the plant community were evaluated using regression models. Results showed that grazing levels affected the relationship between seed size and abundance properties of adult species, seedlings, and the soil seed bank, suggesting that there is a shift in seed-size--species-abundance relationships as a response to the grazing gradient. Grazing had no effect on the pattern of seed-size-seed-rain-abundance at four grazing levels. Grazing also had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--species-abundance and pattern of seed-size--soil-seed-bank-abundance in meadows with no grazing, light grazing, and moderate grazing), but there was a significant negative effect in meadows with heavy grazing. Grazing had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--seedling-abundance with no grazing, but had significant negative effects with light, moderate, and heavy grazing, and the |r| values increased with grazing levels. This indicated that increasing grazing pressure enhanced the advantage of smaller-seeded species in terms of the abundances of adult species, seedlings, and soil seed banks, whereas only the light grazing level promoted the seed rain abundance of larger-seeded species in the plant communities. This study suggests that grazing disturbances are favorable for increasing the species abundance for smaller-seeded species but not for the larger-seeded species in an alpine meadow community. Hence, there is a clear

  1. Parameters affecting the efficient delivery of mesoporous silica nanoparticle materials and gold nanorods into plant tissues by the biolistic method.

    PubMed

    Martin-Ortigosa, Susana; Valenstein, Justin S; Sun, Wei; Moeller, Lorena; Fang, Ning; Trewyn, Brian G; Lin, Victor S-Y; Wang, Kan

    2012-02-01

    Applying nanotechnology to plant science requires efficient systems for the delivery of nanoparticles (NPs) to plant cells and tissues. The presence of a cell wall in plant cells makes it challenging to extend the NP delivery methods available for animal research. In this work, research is presented which establishes an efficient NP delivery system for plant tissues using the biolistic method. It is shown that the biolistic delivery of mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSN) materials can be improved by increasing the density of MSNs through gold plating. Additionally, a DNA-coating protocol is used based on calcium chloride and spermidine for MSN and gold nanorods to enhance the NP-mediated DNA delivery. Furthermore, the drastic improvement of NP delivery is demonstrated when the particles are combined with 0.6 μm gold particles during bombardment. The methodology described provides a system for the efficient delivery of NPs into plant cells using the biolistic method. PMID:22174078

  2. Spatial gradient in nitrogen deposition affects plant species frequency in acidic grasslands.

    PubMed

    Pannek, A; Duprè, C; Gowing, D J G; Stevens, C J; Diekmann, M

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic eutrophication impacts ecosystems worldwide. Here, we use a vegetation dataset from semi-natural grasslands on acidic soils sampled along a gradient in north-western Europe to examine the response of species frequency to nitrogen (N) deposition, controlling for the effects of other environmental variables. A second dataset of acidic grasslands from Germany and the Netherlands containing plots from different time periods was analysed to examine whether the results of the spatial gradient approach coincided with temporal changes in the abundance of species. Out of 44 studied species, 16 were affected by N deposition, 12 of them negatively. Soil pH and phosphorus (P) influenced 24 and 14 species, respectively, predominantly positively. Fewer species were related to the soil contents of NO3(-) or NH4(+), with no significant differences between the number of positive and negative effects. Whereas the temporal change of species was unrelated to their responses to pH, species responding negatively to N deposition, soil P and NO3(-) showed a significant decline over time in both countries. Species that were negatively affected by high N deposition and/or high soil P also showed a negative temporal trend and could be characterised by short stature and slow growth. The results confirm the negative role of N deposition for many plant species in semi-natural acidic grasslands. The negative temporal trends of species sensitive to high N deposition and soil P values clearly show a need for maintaining low soil nutrient status and for restoring the formerly infertile conditions in nutrient-enriched grasslands. PMID:25407619

  3. Cytonuclear interactions affect adaptive traits of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana in the field

    PubMed Central

    Roux, Fabrice; Mary-Huard, Tristan; Barillot, Elise; Wenes, Estelle; Botran, Lucy; Durand, Stéphanie; Villoutreix, Romain; Martin-Magniette, Marie-Laure; Camilleri, Christine; Budar, Françoise

    2016-01-01

    Although the contribution of cytonuclear interactions to plant fitness variation is relatively well documented at the interspecific level, the prevalence of cytonuclear interactions at the intraspecific level remains poorly investigated. In this study, we set up a field experiment to explore the range of effects that cytonuclear interactions have on fitness-related traits in Arabidopsis thaliana. To do so, we created a unique series of 56 cytolines resulting from cytoplasmic substitutions among eight natural accessions reflecting within-species genetic diversity. An assessment of these cytolines and their parental lines scored for 28 adaptive whole-organism phenotypes showed that a large proportion of phenotypic traits (23 of 28) were affected by cytonuclear interactions. The effects of these interactions varied from slight but frequent across cytolines to strong in some specific parental pairs. Two parental pairs accounted for half of the significant pairwise interactions. In one parental pair, Ct-1/Sha, we observed symmetrical phenotypic responses between the two nuclear backgrounds when combined with specific cytoplasms, suggesting nuclear differentiation at loci involved in cytonuclear epistasis. In contrast, asymmetrical phenotypic responses were observed in another parental pair, Cvi-0/Sha. In the Cvi-0 nuclear background, fecundity and phenology-related traits were strongly affected by the Sha cytoplasm, leading to a modified reproductive strategy without penalizing total seed production. These results indicate that natural variation in cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes interact to shape integrative traits that contribute to adaptation, thereby suggesting that cytonuclear interactions can play a major role in the evolutionary dynamics of A. thaliana. PMID:26979961

  4. Severe dry winter affects plant phenology and carbon balance of a cork oak woodland understorey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correia, A. C.; Costa-e-Silva, F.; Dubbert, M.; Piayda, A.; Pereira, J. S.

    2016-10-01

    Mediterranean climates are prone to a great variation in yearly precipitation. The effects on ecosystem will depend on the severity and timing of droughts. In this study we questioned how an extreme dry winter affects the carbon flux in the understorey of a cork oak woodland? What is the seasonal contribution of understorey vegetation to ecosystem productivity? We used closed-system portable chambers to measure CO2 exchange of the dominant shrub species (Cistus salviifolius, Cistus crispus and Ulex airensis), of the herbaceous layer and on bare soil in a cork oak woodland in central Portugal during the dry winter year of 2012. Shoot growth, leaf shedding, flower and fruit setting, above and belowground plant biomass were measured as well as seasonal leaf water potential. Eddy-covariance and micrometeorological data together with CO2 exchange measurements were used to access the understorey species contribution to ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP). The herbaceous layer productivity was severely affected by the dry winter, with half of the yearly maximum aboveground biomass in comparison with the 6 years site average. The semi-deciduous and evergreen shrubs showed desynchronized phenophases and lagged carbon uptake maxima. Whereas shallow-root shrubs exhibited opportunistic characteristics in exploiting the understorey light and water resources, deep rooted shrubs showed better water status but considerably lower assimilation rates. The contribution of understorey vegetation to ecosystem GPP was lower during summer with 14% and maximum during late spring, concomitantly with the lowest tree productivity due to tree canopy renewal. The herbaceous vegetation contribution to ecosystem GPP never exceeded 6% during this dry year stressing its sensitivity to winter and spring precipitation. Although shrubs are more resilient to precipitation variability when compared with the herbaceous vegetation, the contribution of the understorey vegetation to ecosystem GPP can

  5. Spatial gradient in nitrogen deposition affects plant species frequency in acidic grasslands.

    PubMed

    Pannek, A; Duprè, C; Gowing, D J G; Stevens, C J; Diekmann, M

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic eutrophication impacts ecosystems worldwide. Here, we use a vegetation dataset from semi-natural grasslands on acidic soils sampled along a gradient in north-western Europe to examine the response of species frequency to nitrogen (N) deposition, controlling for the effects of other environmental variables. A second dataset of acidic grasslands from Germany and the Netherlands containing plots from different time periods was analysed to examine whether the results of the spatial gradient approach coincided with temporal changes in the abundance of species. Out of 44 studied species, 16 were affected by N deposition, 12 of them negatively. Soil pH and phosphorus (P) influenced 24 and 14 species, respectively, predominantly positively. Fewer species were related to the soil contents of NO3(-) or NH4(+), with no significant differences between the number of positive and negative effects. Whereas the temporal change of species was unrelated to their responses to pH, species responding negatively to N deposition, soil P and NO3(-) showed a significant decline over time in both countries. Species that were negatively affected by high N deposition and/or high soil P also showed a negative temporal trend and could be characterised by short stature and slow growth. The results confirm the negative role of N deposition for many plant species in semi-natural acidic grasslands. The negative temporal trends of species sensitive to high N deposition and soil P values clearly show a need for maintaining low soil nutrient status and for restoring the formerly infertile conditions in nutrient-enriched grasslands.

  6. Cytonuclear interactions affect adaptive traits of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana in the field.

    PubMed

    Roux, Fabrice; Mary-Huard, Tristan; Barillot, Elise; Wenes, Estelle; Botran, Lucy; Durand, Stéphanie; Villoutreix, Romain; Martin-Magniette, Marie-Laure; Camilleri, Christine; Budar, Françoise

    2016-03-29

    Although the contribution of cytonuclear interactions to plant fitness variation is relatively well documented at the interspecific level, the prevalence of cytonuclear interactions at the intraspecific level remains poorly investigated. In this study, we set up a field experiment to explore the range of effects that cytonuclear interactions have on fitness-related traits in Arabidopsis thaliana To do so, we created a unique series of 56 cytolines resulting from cytoplasmic substitutions among eight natural accessions reflecting within-species genetic diversity. An assessment of these cytolines and their parental lines scored for 28 adaptive whole-organism phenotypes showed that a large proportion of phenotypic traits (23 of 28) were affected by cytonuclear interactions. The effects of these interactions varied from slight but frequent across cytolines to strong in some specific parental pairs. Two parental pairs accounted for half of the significant pairwise interactions. In one parental pair, Ct-1/Sha, we observed symmetrical phenotypic responses between the two nuclear backgrounds when combined with specific cytoplasms, suggesting nuclear differentiation at loci involved in cytonuclear epistasis. In contrast, asymmetrical phenotypic responses were observed in another parental pair, Cvi-0/Sha. In the Cvi-0 nuclear background, fecundity and phenology-related traits were strongly affected by the Sha cytoplasm, leading to a modified reproductive strategy without penalizing total seed production. These results indicate that natural variation in cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes interact to shape integrative traits that contribute to adaptation, thereby suggesting that cytonuclear interactions can play a major role in the evolutionary dynamics ofA. thaliana. PMID:26979961

  7. Do different substitution patterns or plant origin in hydroxyethyl starches affect blood coagulation in vitro?

    PubMed

    Matsota, Paraskevi; Politou, Marianna; Kalimeris, Konstantinos; Apostolaki, Stella; Merkouri, Efrosyni; Gialeraki, Argyri; Travlou, Anthi; Kostopanagiotou, Georgia

    2010-07-01

    The effect of hydroxyethyl starches (HES) on blood coagulation is affected by their molecular weight, their molar substitution and the C2/C6 ratio. The solutions of 6% HES 130/0.4 and 6% HES 130/0.42 have similar molecular weight and molar substitution but different C2/C6 ratio and plant origin. In the present study, the comparative effect of 6% HES 130/0.4 versus 6% HES 130/0.42 on blood coagulation was investigated in vitro. Thirty milliliter of blood was obtained from 10 healthy volunteers and was diluted by 10, 30 and 50% using either 6% HES 130/0.4 or HES 130/0.42, respectively. Blood coagulation was assessed using thrombelastography measurements (clotting time, clot formation time, maximal clot firmness and alpha-angle). The assessment of platelet function was performed with whole blood aggregometry after adding thrombin-receptor-activating protein. No differences were noted between respective dilutions of the two HES. Both colloids produced significant reductions below the reference values range in clotting time at 10, 30 and 50% dilutions. The 50% dilution of both colloids resulted in significant reduction of maximal clot firmness, alpha-angle and platelet aggregation. The present study showed that the corn-derived 6% HES 130/0.4 and the potato-derived 6% HES 130/0.42 have the same effect on blood coagulation in vitro.

  8. Isotopic Tracing of Thallium Contamination in Soils Affected by Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants.

    PubMed

    Vaněk, Aleš; Grösslová, Zuzana; Mihaljevič, Martin; Trubač, Jakub; Ettler, Vojtěch; Teper, Leslaw; Cabala, Jerzy; Rohovec, Jan; Zádorová, Tereza; Penížek, Vít; Pavlů, Lenka; Holubík, Ondřej; Němeček, Karel; Houška, Jakub; Drábek, Ondřej; Ash, Christopher

    2016-09-20

    Here, for the first time, we report the thallium (Tl) isotope record in moderately contaminated soils with contrasting land management (forest and meadow soils), which have been affected by emissions from coal-fired power plants. Our findings clearly demonstrate that Tl of anthropogenic (high-temperature) origin with light isotope composition was deposited onto the studied soils, where heavier Tl (ε(205)Tl ∼ -1) naturally occurs. The results show a positive linear relationship (R(2) = 0.71) between 1/Tl and the isotope record, as determined for all the soils and bedrocks, also indicative of binary Tl mixing between two dominant reservoirs. We also identified significant Tl isotope variations within the products from coal combustion and thermo-desorption experiments with local Tl-rich coal pyrite. Bottom ash exhibited the heaviest Tl isotope composition (ε(205)Tl ∼ 0), followed by fly ash (ε(205)Tl between -2.5 and -2.8) and volatile Tl fractions (ε(205)Tl between -6.2 and -10.3), suggesting partial Tl isotope fractionations. Despite the evident role of soil processes in the isotope redistributions, we demonstrate that Tl contamination can be traced in soils and propose that the isotope data represent a possible tool to aid our understanding of postdepositional Tl dynamics in surface environments for the future.

  9. Isotopic Tracing of Thallium Contamination in Soils Affected by Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants.

    PubMed

    Vaněk, Aleš; Grösslová, Zuzana; Mihaljevič, Martin; Trubač, Jakub; Ettler, Vojtěch; Teper, Leslaw; Cabala, Jerzy; Rohovec, Jan; Zádorová, Tereza; Penížek, Vít; Pavlů, Lenka; Holubík, Ondřej; Němeček, Karel; Houška, Jakub; Drábek, Ondřej; Ash, Christopher

    2016-09-20

    Here, for the first time, we report the thallium (Tl) isotope record in moderately contaminated soils with contrasting land management (forest and meadow soils), which have been affected by emissions from coal-fired power plants. Our findings clearly demonstrate that Tl of anthropogenic (high-temperature) origin with light isotope composition was deposited onto the studied soils, where heavier Tl (ε(205)Tl ∼ -1) naturally occurs. The results show a positive linear relationship (R(2) = 0.71) between 1/Tl and the isotope record, as determined for all the soils and bedrocks, also indicative of binary Tl mixing between two dominant reservoirs. We also identified significant Tl isotope variations within the products from coal combustion and thermo-desorption experiments with local Tl-rich coal pyrite. Bottom ash exhibited the heaviest Tl isotope composition (ε(205)Tl ∼ 0), followed by fly ash (ε(205)Tl between -2.5 and -2.8) and volatile Tl fractions (ε(205)Tl between -6.2 and -10.3), suggesting partial Tl isotope fractionations. Despite the evident role of soil processes in the isotope redistributions, we demonstrate that Tl contamination can be traced in soils and propose that the isotope data represent a possible tool to aid our understanding of postdepositional Tl dynamics in surface environments for the future. PMID:27536872

  10. Diversity of fungi associated with hair roots of ericaceous plants is affected by land use.

    PubMed

    Hazard, Christina; Gosling, Paul; Mitchell, Derek T; Doohan, Fiona M; Bending, Gary D

    2014-03-01

    Culture-independent molecular studies have provided new insights into the diversity of fungi associating with ericaceous plant roots. However, there is little understanding of the distribution of these fungi across landscapes, or the effects of environmental heterogeneity on ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM) fungal diversity and distribution. Terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism and selective sequence analyses of the internal transcribed spacer regions of rDNA were used to infer fungal diversity of bait Vaccinium macrocarpon grown in soils from nine peatland sites in Ireland, representing three different land uses (bog, rough grazing and forest plantation) and the fungal communities of field-collected Calluna vulgaris for five of these nine sites. A diverse range of potential ERM fungi were found, and the sampling approach significantly affected the diversity of the fungal community. Despite significant site groupings of the fungal communities associated with V. macrocarpon and C. vulgaris, fungal communities were significantly dissimilar between sites with different land uses. Soil nitrogen content significantly explained 52% of the variation in the V. macrocarpon fungal communities. Evidence suggests that environmental heterogeneity has a role in shaping ERM fungal community composition at the landscape scale.

  11. Spatio-Temporal Variation in Contrasting Effects of Resident Vegetation on Establishment, Growth and Reproduction of Dry Grassland Plants: Implications for Seed Addition Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Knappová, Jana; Knapp, Michal; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2013-01-01

    Successful establishment of plants is limited by both biotic and abiotic conditions and their interactions. Seedling establishment is also used as a direct measure of habitat suitability, but transient changes in vegetation might provide windows of opportunity allowing plant species to colonize sites which otherwise appear unsuitable. We aimed to study spatio-temporal variability in the effects of resident vegetation on establishment, growth and reproduction of dry grassland species in abandoned arable fields representing potentially suitable habitats. Seeds were sown in disturbed (bare of vegetation and roots) and undisturbed plots in three fields abandoned in the last 20 years. To assess the effects of temporal variation on plant establishment, we initiated our experiments in two years (2007 and 2008). Seventeen out of the 35 sown species flowered within two years after sowing, while three species completely failed to become established. The vegetation in the undisturbed plots facilitated seedling establishment only in the year with low spring precipitation, and the effect did not hold for all species. In contrast, growth and flowering rate were consistently much greater in the disturbed plots, but the effect size differed between the fields and years of sowing. We show that colonization is more successful when site opening by disturbance coincide with other suitable conditions such as weather or soil characteristics. Seasonal variability involved in our study emphasizes the necessity of temporal replication of sowing experiments. Studies assessing habitat suitability by seed sowing should either involve both vegetation removal treatments and untreated plots or follow the gradient of vegetation cover. We strongly recommend following the numbers of established individuals, their sizes and reproductive success when assessing habitat suitability by seed sowing since one can gain completely different results in different phases of plant life cycle. PMID:23755288

  12. Spatio-temporal variation in contrasting effects of resident vegetation on establishment, growth and reproduction of dry grassland plants: implications for seed addition experiments.

    PubMed

    Knappová, Jana; Knapp, Michal; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2013-01-01

    Successful establishment of plants is limited by both biotic and abiotic conditions and their interactions. Seedling establishment is also used as a direct measure of habitat suitability, but transient changes in vegetation might provide windows of opportunity allowing plant species to colonize sites which otherwise appear unsuitable. We aimed to study spatio-temporal variability in the effects of resident vegetation on establishment, growth and reproduction of dry grassland species in abandoned arable fields representing potentially suitable habitats. Seeds were sown in disturbed (bare of vegetation and roots) and undisturbed plots in three fields abandoned in the last 20 years. To assess the effects of temporal variation on plant establishment, we initiated our experiments in two years (2007 and 2008). Seventeen out of the 35 sown species flowered within two years after sowing, while three species completely failed to become established. The vegetation in the undisturbed plots facilitated seedling establishment only in the year with low spring precipitation, and the effect did not hold for all species. In contrast, growth and flowering rate were consistently much greater in the disturbed plots, but the effect size differed between the fields and years of sowing. We show that colonization is more successful when site opening by disturbance coincide with other suitable conditions such as weather or soil characteristics. Seasonal variability involved in our study emphasizes the necessity of temporal replication of sowing experiments. Studies assessing habitat suitability by seed sowing should either involve both vegetation removal treatments and untreated plots or follow the gradient of vegetation cover. We strongly recommend following the numbers of established individuals, their sizes and reproductive success when assessing habitat suitability by seed sowing since one can gain completely different results in different phases of plant life cycle.

  13. Limited field establishment of a weed biocontrol agent, Floracarus perrepae (Acariformes: Eriophyidae), against Old World climbing fern in Florida - a possible role of mite resistant plant genotypes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Floracarus perrepae was released on Lygodium microphyllum in 63 plots at five sites in South Florida during 2008. Mite-induced leaf galls or feeding damage were observed on field plants in 34 of these plots. Leaf galls were observed in six plots, but in only two of these plots did mites establish pe...

  14. Proteomic analysis reveals suppression of bark chitinases and proteinase inhibitors in citrus plants affected by the citrus sudden death disease.

    PubMed

    Cantú, M D; Mariano, A G; Palma, M S; Carrilho, E; Wulff, N A

    2008-10-01

    Citrus sudden death (CSD) is a disease of unknown etiology that greatly affects sweet oranges grafted on Rangpur lime rootstock, the most important rootstock in Brazilian citriculture. We performed a proteomic analysis to generate information related to this plant pathogen interaction. Protein profiles from healthy, CSD-affected and CSD-tolerant stem barks, were generated using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The protein spots were well distributed over a pI range of 3.26 to 9.97 and a molecular weight (MW) range from 7.1 to 120 kDa. The patterns of expressed proteins on 2-DE gels made it possible to distinguish healthy barks from CSD-affected barks. Protein spots with MW around 30 kDa and pI values ranging from 4.5 to 5.2 were down-regulated in the CSD-affected root-stock bark. This set of protein spots was identified as chitinases. Another set of proteins, ranging in pI from 6.1 to 9.6 with an MW of about 20 kDa, were also suppressed in CSD-affected rootstock bark; these were identified as miraculin-like proteins, potential trypsin inhibitors. Down-regulation of chitinases and proteinase inhibitors in CSD-affected plants is relevant since chitinases are well-known pathogenesis-related protein, and their activity against plant pathogens is largely accepted. PMID:18943454

  15. Acclimations to light quality on plant and leaf level affect the vulnerability of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) to water deficit.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Anna M; Noga, Georg; Hunsche, Mauricio

    2015-03-01

    We investigated the influence of light quality on the vulnerability of pepper plants to water deficit. For this purpose plants were cultivated either under compact fluorescence lamps (CFL) or light-emitting diodes (LED) providing similar photon fluence rates (95 µmol m(-2) s(-1)) but distinct light quality. CFL emit a wide-band spectrum with dominant peaks in the green and red spectral region, whereas LEDs offer narrow band spectra with dominant peaks at blue (445 nm) and red (665 nm) regions. After one-week acclimation to light conditions plants were exposed to water deficit by withholding irrigation; this period was followed by a one-week regeneration period and a second water deficit cycle. In general, plants grown under CFL suffered more from water deficit than plants grown under LED modules, as indicated by the impairment of the photosynthetic efficiency of PSII, resulting in less biomass accumulation compared to respective control plants. As affected by water shortage, plants grown under CFL had a stronger decrease in the electron transport rate (ETR) and more pronounced increase in heat dissipation (NPQ). The higher amount of blue light suppressed plant growth and biomass formation, and consequently reduced the water demand of plants grown under LEDs. Moreover, pepper plants exposed to high blue light underwent adjustments at chloroplast level (e.g., higher Chl a/Chl b ratio), increasing the photosynthetic performance under the LED spectrum. Differently than expected, stomatal conductance was comparable for water-deficit and control plants in both light conditions during the stress and recovery phases, indicating only minor adjustments at the stomatal level. Our results highlight the potential of the target-use of light quality to induce structural and functional acclimations improving plant performance under stress situations.

  16. Seed germination of medicinal plant, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), as affected by different priming techniques.

    PubMed

    Tahaei, Amirreza; Soleymani, Ali; Shams, Majid

    2016-09-01

    Reduced seed germination is among the most important factors adversely affecting crop stand and subsequent plant growth. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) is an important medicinal plant with poor seed germination rate, occasionally. It is accordingly pertinent to find methods which can enhance fennel seed germination and remove the barriers of dormancy breaking. The present experiments studied the effects of two different priming (cold moist stratification and osmopriming) and 14 dormancy breaking techniques (hormonal, osmopriming, biopriming, chemical priming, and hydropriming) on the seed germination and seedling growth of two different fennel genotypes under growth chamber conditions. In the first and second experiment, the priming techniques including the time lengths of cold moist stratification (0, 15, 30, and 45 days) and the concentrations of polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000, osmopriming at -0.99, -1.35, and -2.33 MPa) were used as the main plots. However, in both experiments, the dormancy breaking techniques and fennel genotypes were factorially combined and used as the subplots. Different seed- and seedling-related parameters including germination (%), plumule, radicle and seedling length, average germination time, rate and homogeneity of germination, and seed vigor index were determined. Both priming techniques were efficient on the enhancement of seed germination and seedling growth. Among the dormancy breaking techniques, Aminol Forte (biopriming), kadostim (biopriming), benzyl adenine + kinetin (biopriming), distilled water (hydropriming), gibberellin + kinetin (hormonal priming), and benzyl adenine + kinetin + gibberellin (biopriming) were the most effective ones. The related concentrations were equal to 100 mg/l, 10(-5) M, and 0.4 %. The fennel genotypes reacted significantly different under priming conditions. It is possible to enhance seed germination and seedling growth of fennel using priming and dormancy breaking

  17. Seed germination of medicinal plant, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), as affected by different priming techniques.

    PubMed

    Tahaei, Amirreza; Soleymani, Ali; Shams, Majid

    2016-09-01

    Reduced seed germination is among the most important factors adversely affecting crop stand and subsequent plant growth. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) is an important medicinal plant with poor seed germination rate, occasionally. It is accordingly pertinent to find methods which can enhance fennel seed germination and remove the barriers of dormancy breaking. The present experiments studied the effects of two different priming (cold moist stratification and osmopriming) and 14 dormancy breaking techniques (hormonal, osmopriming, biopriming, chemical priming, and hydropriming) on the seed germination and seedling growth of two different fennel genotypes under growth chamber conditions. In the first and second experiment, the priming techniques including the time lengths of cold moist stratification (0, 15, 30, and 45 days) and the concentrations of polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000, osmopriming at -0.99, -1.35, and -2.33 MPa) were used as the main plots. However, in both experiments, the dormancy breaking techniques and fennel genotypes were factorially combined and used as the subplots. Different seed- and seedling-related parameters including germination (%), plumule, radicle and seedling length, average germination time, rate and homogeneity of germination, and seed vigor index were determined. Both priming techniques were efficient on the enhancement of seed germination and seedling growth. Among the dormancy breaking techniques, Aminol Forte (biopriming), kadostim (biopriming), benzyl adenine + kinetin (biopriming), distilled water (hydropriming), gibberellin + kinetin (hormonal priming), and benzyl adenine + kinetin + gibberellin (biopriming) were the most effective ones. The related concentrations were equal to 100 mg/l, 10(-5) M, and 0.4 %. The fennel genotypes reacted significantly different under priming conditions. It is possible to enhance seed germination and seedling growth of fennel using priming and dormancy breaking

  18. Climate Shifts and Plant-Community Transformations Affect Nitrogen Cycling in Semi-Arid Rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, D. P.; Hardenbrook, S.; Lohse, K. A.; Germino, M. J.; Reinhardt, K.

    2011-12-01

    Semi-arid rangelands are being impacted by climate shifts and plant-community transformations. However, little is known about how these ecosystems will respond to long-term changes in amount and seasonality of precipitation, or how shifts in vegetation modulate the response of plant-soil processes. Semi-arid rangelands are typically characterized by resource islands (perennial shrubs) and contrasting "interplant" (IP) spaces or patch types which may increase the complexity of ecosystem response to climate change. We used an established long-term ecohydrologic experiment (Est. 1993) located in southeastern Idaho to evaluate ecosystem response to changing precipitation seasonality and magnitude. The experiment consists of 3 replicated blocks of 2 vegetation types (a diverse sagebrush steppe assemblage or monoculture of exotic crested wheatgrass, CWG) and 3 irrigation treatments. We hypothesized that increased precipitation will enhance storage of soil organic matter (SOM) due to greater detrital inputs. Rates of nitrogen (N) mineralization and decomposition were also expected to increase relative to ambient treatments. Additionally, we expected that change from native sagebrush to CWG would reduce N availability due to differences in detrital C:N ratios and biomass partitioning. Preliminary results show increased precipitation enhanced carbon pools in native vegetation plots, with SOM in ambient, fall/spring, and summer precipitation treatments of 2.27, 2.73, and 2.71% respectively, and average plot cover of 29, 48, and 40% respectively. Under shrubs, available N increased with increased precipitation (3.5, 4.6, and 5.6 μg-N g-1 soil) although N-cycling rates remained constant. Conversely, IP patches experienced a steady increase in both net N mineralization and nitrification between ambient, fall/spring, and summer precipitation treatments. The IP patches experienced lower absolute values but similar trends in SOM and available N. Crested wheatgrass plots showed

  19. How grazing and soil quality affect native and exotic plant diversity in Rocky Mountain grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Schell, L.D.; Vanden, Heuvel B.

    1999-01-01

    (adjacent and distant 1000-m2 plots) in the same vegetation type overlapped just 48.6 ?? 3.6%, and the ungrazed plots and distant grazed plots overlapped 49.4 ?? 3.6%. Differences in vegetation and soils between grazed and ungrazed sites were minimal in most cases, but soil characteristics and elevation were strongly correlated with native and exotic plant diversity in the study region. For the 78 1000-m2 plots, 59.4% of the variance in total species richness was explained by percentage of silt (coefficient = 0.647, t = 5.107, P < 0.001), elevation (coefficient = 0.012, t = 5.084, P < 0.001), and total foliar cover (coefficient = 0.110, t = 2.104, P < 0.039). Only 12.8% of the variance in exotic species cover (log10cover) was explained by percentage of clay (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.878, P < 0.005), native species richness (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.156, P < 0.034), and log10N (coefficient = 2.827, t = 1.860, P < 0.067). Native species cover and exotic species richness and frequency were also significantly positively correlated with percentage of soil N at the 1000-m2 plot scale. Our research led to five broad generalizations about current levels of grazing in these Rocky Mountain grasslands: (1) grazing probably has little effect on native species richness at landscape scales; (2) grazing probably has little effect on the accelerated spread of most exotic plant species at landscape scales; (3) grazing affects local plant species and life-form composition and cover, but spatial variation is considerable; (4) soil characteristics, climate, and disturbances may have a greater effect on plant species diversity than do current levels of grazing; and (5) few plant species show consistent, directional responses to grazing or cessation of grazing.

  20. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration affects interactions between Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae and two host plant species outdoors

    SciTech Connect

    Caulfield, F.; Bunce, J.A. )

    1994-08-01

    Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Huebner), larvae were placed on sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.) and pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L.) plants in outdoor chambers in which the plants were growing at either the ambient ([approximately] 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1]) or ambient plus 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] ([approximately] 700 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1]) carbon dioxide concentration. A series of experiments was performed to determine if larvae reduced plant growth differently at the two carbon dioxide concentrations in either species and if the insect growth or survival differed with carbon dioxide concentration. Leaf nitrogen, water, starch, and soluble carbohydrate contents were measured to assess carbon dioxide concentration effects on leaf quality. Insect feeding significantly reduced plant growth in sugarbeet plants at 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] but not at 700 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] nor in pigweed at either carbon dioxide concentration. Larval survival was greater on sugarbeet plants at the elevated carbon dioxide concentration. Increased survival occurred only if the insects were at the elevated carbon dioxide concentration and consumed leaf material grown at the elevated concentration. Leaf quality was only marginally affected by growth at elevated carbon dioxide concentration in these experiments. The results indicate that in designing experiments to predict effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on plant-insect interactions, both plants and insects should be exposed to the experimental carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as to as realistic environmental conditions as possible.

  1. Jasmonic acid affects plant morphology and calcium-dependent protein kinase expression and activity in Solanum tuberosum.

    PubMed

    Ulloa, Rita M; Raíces, Marcela; MacIntosh, Gustavo C; Maldonado, Sara; Téllez-Iñón, María T

    2002-07-01

    The effect of jasmonic acid (JA) on plant growth and on calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK) activity and expression was studied in non-photoperiodic potato plants, Solanum tuberosum L. var. Spunta, grown in vitro. Stem cuttings were grown for 45 days (long treatment, LT) in MS medium with increasing concentrations of JA. For short treatments (ST) adult plants grown in MS were transferred for 1, 4 and 20 h to JA containing media. During the LT, low concentrations of JA promoted cell expansion and shoot elongation while higher concentrations caused growth inhibition. Under these conditions, treated plants showed root shortening and tuber formation was not induced. Morphological and histochemical studies using light microscopy and TEM analysis of leaves from treated plants revealed that JA also affected subcellular organelles of mesophyll cells. Peroxisomes increased in size and number, and an autophagic process was triggered in response to high concentrations of the hormone. CDPK activity, determined in crude extracts of treated plants (LT), was inhibited (up to 80%). Plant growth and CDPK inhibition were reverted upon transfer of the plants to hormone-free medium. Soluble CDPK activity decreased in response to JA short treatment. Concomitantly, a decline in the steady state levels of StCDPK2 mRNA, a potato CDPK isoform that is expressed in leaves, was observed. These data suggest that the phytohormone down-regulated the expression and activity of the kinase.

  2. The impact of global warming on floral traits that affect the selfing rate in a high-altitude plant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Changes in the abiotic environment, as those expected under global warming, can influence plant mating systems through changes in floral traits that affect selfing. Herkogamy (spatial separation of male and female functions within a flower), dichogamy (temporal separation) and total flower number af...

  3. Plant Products Affect Growth and Digestive Efficiency of Cultured Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) Fed Compounded Diets

    PubMed Central

    Lech, Gregory P.; Reigh, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    Costs of compounded diets containing fish meal as a primary protein source can be expected to rise as fish meal prices increase in response to static supply and growing demand. Alternatives to fish meal are needed to reduce production costs in many aquaculture enterprises. Some plant proteins are potential replacements for fish meal because of their amino acid composition, lower cost and wide availability. In this study, we measured utilization of soybean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) by Florida pompano fed compounded diets, to determine the efficacy of these products as fish meal replacements. We also calculated apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) for canola meal (CM), corn gluten meal (CGM), and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), following typical methods for digestibility trials. Juvenile Florida pompano were fed fish-meal-free diets containing graded levels of SBM and SPC, and weight gain was compared to a control diet that contained SBM, SPC, and fish meal. Fish fed diets that contained 25–30 percent SBM in combination with 43–39 percent SPC had weight gain equivalent to fish fed the control diet with fish meal, while weight gain of fish fed other soy combinations was significantly less than that of the control group. Apparent crude protein digestibility of CGM was significantly higher than that of DDGS but not significantly different from CM. Apparent energy digestibility of DDGS was significantly lower than CGM but significantly higher than CM. Findings suggested that composition of the reference diet used in a digestibility trial affects the values of calculated ADCs, in addition to the chemical and physical attributes of the test ingredient. PMID:22536344

  4. Plant products affect growth and digestive efficiency of cultured Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) fed compounded diets.

    PubMed

    Lech, Gregory P; Reigh, Robert C

    2012-01-01

    Costs of compounded diets containing fish meal as a primary protein source can be expected to rise as fish meal prices increase in response to static supply and growing demand. Alternatives to fish meal are needed to reduce production costs in many aquaculture enterprises. Some plant proteins are potential replacements for fish meal because of their amino acid composition, lower cost and wide availability. In this study, we measured utilization of soybean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) by Florida pompano fed compounded diets, to determine the efficacy of these products as fish meal replacements. We also calculated apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) for canola meal (CM), corn gluten meal (CGM), and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), following typical methods for digestibility trials. Juvenile Florida pompano were fed fish-meal-free diets containing graded levels of SBM and SPC, and weight gain was compared to a control diet that contained SBM, SPC, and fish meal. Fish fed diets that contained 25-30 percent SBM in combination with 43-39 percent SPC had weight gain equivalent to fish fed the control diet with fish meal, while weight gain of fish fed other soy combinations was significantly less than that of the control group. Apparent crude protein digestibility of CGM was significantly higher than that of DDGS but not significantly different from CM. Apparent energy digestibility of DDGS was significantly lower than CGM but significantly higher than CM. Findings suggested that composition of the reference diet used in a digestibility trial affects the values of calculated ADCs, in addition to the chemical and physical attributes of the test ingredient.

  5. Plant diversity affects behavior of generalist root herbivores, reduces crop damage, and enhances crop yield.

    PubMed

    Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Thalinger, Bettina; Wallinger, Corinna; Juen, Anita; Traugott, Michael

    2013-07-01

    Soil-dwelling pests inflict considerable economic damage in agriculture but are hard to control. A promising strategy to reduce pest pressure on crops is to increase the plant diversity in agroecosystems. This approach, however, demands a sound understanding of species' interactions, which is widely lacking for subterranean herbivore-plant systems. Here, we examine the effects of plant diversification on wireworms, the soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles that threaten crops worldwide. We conducted a field experiment employing plant diversification by adding either wheat or a mix of six associated plants (grasses, legumes, and forbs) between rows of maize to protect it from Agriotes wireworms. Wireworm feeding behavior, dispersal between crop and associated plants, as well as maize damage and yield were examined. The former was assessed combining molecular gut content and stable isotope analysis. The pests were strongly attracted by the associated plants in August, when the crop was most vulnerable, whereas in September, shortly before harvest, this effect occurred only in the plant mix. In maize monoculture, the larvae stayed in the principal crop throughout the season. Larval delta13C signatures revealed that maize feeding was reduced up to sevenfold in wireworms of the vegetationally diversified treatments compared to those of the maize monoculture. These findings were confirmed by molecular analysis, which additionally showed a dietary preference of wireworms for specific plants in the associated plant mix. Compared to the monoculture, maize damage was reduced by 38% and 55% in the wheat and plant mix treatment, which translated into a yield increase of 30% and 38%, respectively. The present findings demonstrate that increasing the plant diversity in agroecosystems provides an effective insurance against soil pests. The underlying mechanisms are the diversion of the pest from the principle crop and a changed feeding behavior. The deployment of diverse mixes of

  6. Carbon nanotubes are able to penetrate plant seed coat and dramatically affect seed germination and plant growth.

    PubMed

    Khodakovskaya, Mariya; Dervishi, Enkeleda; Mahmood, Meena; Xu, Yang; Li, Zhongrui; Watanabe, Fumiya; Biris, Alexandru S

    2009-10-27

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were found to penetrate tomato seeds and affect their germination and growth rates. The germination was found to be dramatically higher for seeds that germinated on medium containing CNTs (10-40 mug/mL) compared to control. Analytical methods indicated that the CNTs are able to penetrate the thick seed coat and support water uptake inside seeds, a process which can affect seed germination and growth of tomato seedlings. PMID:19772305

  7. The presence of Bt-transgenic oilseed rape in wild mustard populations affects plant growth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yongbo; Stewart, C Neal; Li, Junsheng; Huang, Hai; Zhang, Xitao

    2015-12-01

    The adventitious presence of transgenic plants in wild plant populations is of ecological and regulatory concern, but the consequences of adventitious presence are not well understood. Here, we introduced Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac (Bt)-transgenic oilseed rape (Bt OSR, Brassica napus) with various frequencies into wild mustard (Brassica juncea) populations. We sought to better understand the adventitious presence of this transgenic insecticidal crop in a wild-relative plant population. We assessed the factors of competition, resource availability and diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) infestation on plant population dynamics. As expected, Bt OSR performed better than wild mustard in mixed populations under herbivore attack in habitats with enough resources, whereas wild mustard had higher fitness when Bt OSR was rarer in habitats with limited resources. Results suggest that the presence of insect-resistant transgenic plants could decrease the growth of wild mustard and Bt OSR plants and their populations, especially under high herbivore pressure.

  8. The presence of Bt-transgenic oilseed rape in wild mustard populations affects plant growth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yongbo; Stewart, C Neal; Li, Junsheng; Huang, Hai; Zhang, Xitao

    2015-12-01

    The adventitious presence of transgenic plants in wild plant populations is of ecological and regulatory concern, but the consequences of adventitious presence are not well understood. Here, we introduced Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac (Bt)-transgenic oilseed rape (Bt OSR, Brassica napus) with various frequencies into wild mustard (Brassica juncea) populations. We sought to better understand the adventitious presence of this transgenic insecticidal crop in a wild-relative plant population. We assessed the factors of competition, resource availability and diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) infestation on plant population dynamics. As expected, Bt OSR performed better than wild mustard in mixed populations under herbivore attack in habitats with enough resources, whereas wild mustard had higher fitness when Bt OSR was rarer in habitats with limited resources. Results suggest that the presence of insect-resistant transgenic plants could decrease the growth of wild mustard and Bt OSR plants and their populations, especially under high herbivore pressure. PMID:26338267

  9. Raising groundwater differentially affects mineralization and plant species abundance in dune slacks.

    PubMed

    van Bodegom, Peter M; Oosthoek, Annelies; Broekman, Rob; Bakker, Chris; Aerts, Rien

    2006-10-01

    The experience with restoring high water levels (i.e., rewetting) within restoration ecology is limited, and information on changes in soil nutrient supply is scarce. A reduction in nutrient supply is needed to restore the desired oligotrophic vegetation. We determined the effects of restoration of high water levels on decomposition and net carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) mineralization rates in wet dune slacks and its consequences for the relative abundance of eutrophic vs. oligotrophic species in the vegetation. This was done by analyzing these variables for valleys that experienced a large groundwater rise vs. valleys that had a small groundwater rise but the same current water level. In addition, the influences of underlying factors (waterlogging, vegetation dieback, and soil dynamics prior to groundwater rise) were separated in a transplantation experiment. Short-term effects of large groundwater rise were a massive dieback of vegetation, increased thickness of the fermentation layer, increased microbial decomposition activity, increased C mineralization, and decreased net N mineralization. Net P mineralization was not affected. The relative abundance of oligotrophic vs. eutrophic species was greater at large groundwater rise. Changes in decomposition and mineralization by large groundwater rise were, however, not caused by the vegetation dieback, but due to previous soil conditions. Soils experiencing waterlogged conditions for 3-4 years or more prior to large groundwater rise had lower C and higher net N mineralization rates at waterlogged conditions than soils that had experienced aerobic conditions, presumably due to differences in labile soil C contents. Contrary to expectations induced by previously determined nutrient pulses and measured vegetation dieback, large groundwater rise resulted in lower soil nutrient supply rates and more oligotrophic vegetation. If these trends continue on the longer term, restoration of high water levels may be

  10. Microtubule plus-ends reveal essential links between intracellular polarization and localized modulation of endocytosis during division-plane establishment in plant cells

    PubMed Central

    Dhonukshe, Pankaj; Mathur, Jaideep; Hülskamp, Martin; Gadella, Theodorus WJ

    2005-01-01

    Background A key event in plant morphogenesis is the establishment of a division plane. A plant-specific microtubular preprophase band (PPB) accurately predicts the line of cell division, whereas the phragmoplast, another plant-specific array, executes cell division by maintaining this predicted line. Although establishment of these specific arrays apparently involves intracellular repolarization events that focus cellular resources to a division site, it still remains unclear how microtubules position the cell division planes. Here we study GFP-AtEB1 decorated microtubule plus-ends to dissect events at the division plane. Results Early mitotic events included guided growth of endoplasmic microtubules (EMTs) towards the PPB site and their coincident localization with endocytic vesicles. Consequently, an endosomal belt lay in close proximity to the microtubular PPB at its maturation and was maintained during spindle formation. During cytokinesis, EMTs radiated from the former spindle poles in a geometrical conformation correlating with cell-plate navigation and tilt-correction. Naphthylphtalamic acid (NPA), an inhibitor of polar auxin efflux, caused abnormal PPBs and shifted division planes. Conclusion Our observations reveal a spatio-temporal link between microtubules and intracellular polarization essential for localized endocytosis and precise establishment of the division plane in plants. Additionally, they implicate the growth regulator, auxin, in this important cellular event. PMID:15831100

  11. Plant species loss affects life-history traits of aphids and their parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Petermann, Jana S; Müller, Christine B; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Schmid, Bernhard

    2010-08-06

    The consequences of plant species loss are rarely assessed in a multi-trophic context and especially effects on life-history traits of organisms at higher trophic levels have remained largely unstudied. We used a grassland biodiversity experiment and measured the effects of two components of plant diversity, plant species richness and the presence of nitrogen-fixing legumes, on several life-history traits of naturally colonizing aphids and their primary and secondary parasitoids in the field. We found that, irrespective of aphid species identity, the proportion of winged aphid morphs decreased with increasing plant species richness, which was correlated with decreasing host plant biomass. Similarly, emergence proportions of parasitoids decreased with increasing plant species richness. Both, emergence proportions and proportions of female parasitoids were lower in plots with legumes, where host plants had increased nitrogen concentrations. This effect of legume presence could indicate that aphids were better defended against parasitoids in high-nitrogen environments. Body mass of emerged individuals of the two most abundant primary parasitoid species was, however, higher in plots with legumes, suggesting that once parasitoids could overcome aphid defenses, they could profit from larger or more nutritious hosts. Our study demonstrates that cascading effects of plant species loss on higher trophic levels such as aphids, parasitoids and secondary parasitoids begin with changed life-history traits of these insects. Thus, life-history traits of organisms at higher trophic levels may be useful indicators of bottom-up effects of plant diversity on the biodiversity of consumers.

  12. Feasibility of using an alternative larval host and host plants to establish Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in the temperate Louisiana sugarcane ecosystem.

    PubMed

    White, W H; Wilson, L T

    2012-04-01

    Attempts to establish Cotesia flavipes Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in Louisiana sugarcane fields to control the sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (F.) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) have been unsuccessful. Experiments were conducted to investigate the feasibility of using an alternative larval host and host plants to overcome barriers preventing establishment. In addition, we evaluated C. flavipes' ability to search for D. saccharalis in sugarcane without above-ground internodes. Diatraea evanescens Dyar (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) was investigated as an alternative host for C. flavipes. Cotesia flavipes was reared for five generations on D. evanescens without any indication of diminishing fitness as measured by days to parasite pupation and average cocoon mass weight. However, there was a significant reduction in percent parasitism, cocoon mass weight, and percent emergence when C. flavipes parasitized D. evanescens as compared with D. saccharalis, resulting in a 75% reduction in the gross reproductive rate (R(0)). Greenhouse studies indicated little difference in parasitism of D. saccharalis on the weed hosts johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense (L.), and vaseygrass, Paspalum urvillei Steud. However, when planted as refuge plots, we found it difficult to establish infestations of D. saccharalis in either of these hosts, or in two energy sugarcanes. After 3 yr of infesting host plants and releasing parasitoids only one parasitized D. saccharalis larvae was recovered within the johnsongrass refuge. Diatraea evanescens readily established in vaseygrass; however, these larvae appear inaccessible to C. flavipes. In contrast, parasitism of D. saccharalis by C. flavipes infesting young sugarcane was 30%.

  13. Establishment of Azotobacter on plant roots: chemotactic response, development and analysis of root exudates of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rakesh; Bhatia, Ranjana; Kukreja, K; Behl, Rishi Kumar; Dudeja, Surjit Singh; Narula, Neeru

    2007-10-01

    Biofertilizers contribute in N(2) fixation, P solubilization, phytohormone production and thus enhance plant growth. Beneficial plant-microbe interactions and the stability and effectiveness of biofertilizer depend upon the establishment of bacterial strains in the rhizosphere of the plant. This interaction depends upon many factors, one of them being plant exudates. Root exudates are composed of small organic molecules like carbonic acids, amino acids or sugars etc., which are released into the soil and bacteria can be attracted towards these exudates due to chemotaxis. The chemotactic behaviour of Azotobacter strains was studied using cotton (Desi HD 123 and American H 1098) and wheat (WH 711) seedlings and the root exudates of these two plants were chemically characterized. Analysis of the root exudates revealed the presence of sugars and simple polysaccharides (glucose), amino acids (glutamate, lysine) and organic acids (citric acid, succinic acid, maleic acid, malonic acid). Differences between cotton cultivars in root exudates were observed which influenced chemotactic response in Azotobacter. These results indicate colonization with rhizobacteria which implies that optimal symbionts, on the sides of both plant cultivar and bioinoculant bacteria can lead to better plant growth under cultivation conditions.

  14. Conventional and organic soil fertility management practices affect corn plant nutrition and Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) larval performance.

    PubMed

    Murrell, Ebony G; Cullen, Eileen M

    2014-10-01

    Few studies compare how different soil fertilization practices affect plant mineral content and insect performance in organic systems. This study examined: 1) The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), larval response on corn (Zea mays L.) grown in field soils with different soil management histories; and 2) resilience of these plants to O. nubilalis herbivory. Treatments included: 1) standard organic--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and 2 yr of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the rotation; 2) basic cation saturation ratio--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and alfalfa nitrogen credits, plus addition of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) according to the soil balance hypothesis; and 3) conventional--conventionally managed soil fertilized with synthetic fertilizers. Corn plants were reared to maturity in a greenhouse, and then infested with 0-40 O. nubilalis larvae for 17 d. O. nubilalis exhibited negative competitive response to increasing larval densities. Mean development time was significantly faster for larvae consuming basic cation saturation ratio plants than those on standard organic plants, with intermediate development time on conventional plants. Neither total yield (number of kernels) nor proportion kernels damaged differed among soil fertility treatments. Soil nutrients differed significantly in S and in Ca:Mg and Ca:K ratios, but principal components analysis of plant tissue samples taken before O. nubilalis infestation showed that S, Fe, and Cu contributed most to differences in plant nutrient profiles among soil fertility treatments. Results demonstrate that different fertilization regimens can significantly affect insect performance within the context of organic systems, but the effects in this study were relatively minor compared with effects of intraspecific competition.

  15. Conventional and organic soil fertility management practices affect corn plant nutrition and Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) larval performance.

    PubMed

    Murrell, Ebony G; Cullen, Eileen M

    2014-10-01

    Few studies compare how different soil fertilization practices affect plant mineral content and insect performance in organic systems. This study examined: 1) The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), larval response on corn (Zea mays L.) grown in field soils with different soil management histories; and 2) resilience of these plants to O. nubilalis herbivory. Treatments included: 1) standard organic--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and 2 yr of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the rotation; 2) basic cation saturation ratio--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and alfalfa nitrogen credits, plus addition of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) according to the soil balance hypothesis; and 3) conventional--conventionally managed soil fertilized with synthetic fertilizers. Corn plants were reared to maturity in a greenhouse, and then infested with 0-40 O. nubilalis larvae for 17 d. O. nubilalis exhibited negative competitive response to increasing larval densities. Mean development time was significantly faster for larvae consuming basic cation saturation ratio plants than those on standard organic plants, with intermediate development time on conventional plants. Neither total yield (number of kernels) nor proportion kernels damaged differed among soil fertility treatments. Soil nutrients differed significantly in S and in Ca:Mg and Ca:K ratios, but principal components analysis of plant tissue samples taken before O. nubilalis infestation showed that S, Fe, and Cu contributed most to differences in plant nutrient profiles among soil fertility treatments. Results demonstrate that different fertilization regimens can significantly affect insect performance within the context of organic systems, but the effects in this study were relatively minor compared with effects of intraspecific competition. PMID:25203485

  16. Soil moisture variations affect short-term plant-microbial competition for ammonium, glycine, and glutamate.

    PubMed

    Månsson, Katarina F; Olsson, Magnus O; Falkengren-Grerup, Ursula; Bengtsson, Göran

    2014-04-01

    We tested whether the presence of plant roots would impair the uptake of ammonium ([Formula: see text]), glycine, and glutamate by microorganisms in a deciduous forest soil exposed to constant or variable moisture in a short-term (24-h) experiment. The uptake of (15)NH4 and dual labeled amino acids by the grass Festuca gigantea L. and soil microorganisms was determined in planted and unplanted soils maintained at 60% WHC (water holding capacity) or subject to drying and rewetting. The experiment used a design by which competition was tested in soils that were primed by plant roots to the same extent in the planted and unplanted treatments. Festuca gigantea had no effect on microbial N uptake in the constant moist soil, but its presence doubled the microbial [Formula: see text] uptake in the dried and rewetted soil compared with the constant moist. The drying and rewetting reduced by half or more the [Formula: see text] uptake by F. gigantea, despite more than 60% increase in the soil concentration of [Formula: see text]. At the same time, the amino acid and [Formula: see text]-N became equally valued in the plant uptake, suggesting that plants used amino acids to compensate for the lower [Formula: see text] acquisition. Our results demonstrate the flexibility in plant-microbial use of different N sources in response to soil moisture fluctuations and emphasize the importance of including transient soil conditions in experiments on resource competition between plants and soil microorganisms. Competition between plants and microorganisms for N is demonstrated by a combination of removal of one of the potential competitors, the plant, and subsequent observations of the uptake of N in the organisms in soils that differ only in the physical presence and absence of the plant during a short assay. Those conditions are necessary to unequivocally test for competition.

  17. Retention of OsNMD3 in the cytoplasm disturbs protein synthesis efficiency and affects plant development in rice

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yanyun; Liu, Xiangling; Li, Rui; Gao, Yaping; Xu, Zuopeng; Zhang, Baocai; Zhou, Yihua

    2014-01-01

    The ribosome is the basic machinery for translation, and biogenesis of ribosomes involves many coordinated events. However, knowledge about ribosomal dynamics in higher plants is very limited. This study chose a highly conserved trans-factor, the 60S ribosomal subunit nuclear export adaptor NMD3, to characterize the mechanism of ribosome biogenesis in the monocot plant Oryza sativa (rice). O. sativa NMD3 (OsNMD3) shares all the common motifs and shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm via CRM1/XPO1. A dominant negative form of OsNMD3 with a truncated nuclear localization sequence (OsNMD3ΔNLS) was retained in the cytoplasm, consequently interfering with the release of OsNMD3 from pre-60S particles and disturbing the assembly of ribosome subunits. Analyses of the transactivation activity and cellulose biosynthesis level revealed low protein synthesis efficiency in the transgenic plants compared with the wild-type plants. Pharmaceutical treatments demonstrated structural alterations in ribosomes in the transgenic plants. Moreover, global expression profiles of the wild-type and transgenic plants were investigated using the Illumina RNA sequencing approach. These expression profiles suggested that overexpression of OsNMD3ΔNLS affected ribosome biogenesis and certain basic pathways, leading to pleiotropic abnormalities in plant growth. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that OsNMD3 is important for ribosome assembly and the maintenance of normal protein synthesis efficiency. PMID:24723395

  18. Overexpression of OsDof12 affects plant architecture in rice (Oryza sativa L.).

    PubMed

    Wu, Qi; Li, Dayong; Li, Dejun; Liu, Xue; Zhao, Xianfeng; Li, Xiaobing; Li, Shigui; Zhu, Lihuang

    2015-01-01

    Dof (DNA binding with one finger) proteins, a class of plant-specific transcription factors, are involved in plant growth and developmental processes and stress responses. However, their biological functions remain to be elucidated, especially in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Previously, we have reported that OsDof12 can promote rice flowering under long-day conditions. Here, we further investigated the other important agronomical traits of the transgenic plants overexpressing OsDof12 and found that overexpressing OsDof12 could lead to reduced plant height, erected leaf, shortened leaf blade, and smaller panicle resulted from decreased primary and secondary branches number. These results implied that OsDof12 is involved in rice plant architecture formation. Furthermore, we performed a series of Brassinosteroid (BR)-responsive tests and found that overexpression of OsDof12 could also result in BR hyposensitivity. Of note, in WT plants the expression of OsDof12 was found up-regulated by BR treatment while in OsDof12 overexpression plants two positive BR signaling regulators, OsBRI1 and OsBZR1, were significantly down-regulated, indicating that OsDof12 may act as a negative BR regulator in rice. Taken together, our results suggested that overexpression of OsDof12 could lead to altered plant architecture by suppressing BR signaling. Thus, OsDof12 might be used as a new potential genetic regulator for future rice molecular breeding.

  19. Are herbage yield and yield stability affected by plant species diversity in sown pasture mixtures?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A tenet of plant biodiversity theory in grasslands is that increased diversity contributes to the stability of ecosystems. In managed grasslands, such as pastures, greater stability of herbage production as a result of increased plant species diversity would be beneficial. In this study, I combined ...

  20. Decoupling factors affecting plant diversity and cover on extensive green roofs.

    PubMed

    MacIvor, J Scott; Margolis, Liat; Puncher, Curtis L; Carver Matthews, Benjamin J

    2013-11-30

    Supplemental irrigation systems are often specified on green roofs to ensure plant cover and growth, both important components of green roof performance and aesthetics. Properties of the growing media environment too can alter the assemblage of plant species able to thrive. In this study we determine how plant cover, above ground biomass and species diversity are influenced by irrigation and growing media. Grass and forb vegetative cover and biomass were significantly greater in organic based growing media but there was no effect of supplemental irrigation, with two warm season grasses dominating in those treatments receiving no supplemental irrigation. On the other hand, plant diversity declined without irrigation in organic media, and having no irrigation in inorganic growing media resulted in almost a complete loss of cover. Sedum biomass was less in inorganic growing media treatments and species dominance shifted when growing media organic content increased. Our results demonstrate that supplemental irrigation is required to maintain plant diversity on an extensive green roof, but not necessarily plant cover or biomass. These results provide evidence that planting extensive green roofs with a mix of plant species can ensure the survival of some species; maintaining cover and biomass when supplemental irrigation is turned off to conserve water, or during extreme drought.

  1. Salt tolerance and stress level affect plant biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zhenxing; Chen, Wenwen; Zhang, Qian; Yang, Haishui; Tang, Jianjun; Weiner, Jacob; Chen, Xin

    2014-07-01

    It has been shown that plant biomass-density relationships are altered under extreme or stressed conditions. We do not know whether variation in biomass-density relationships is a direct result of stress tolerance or occurs via changes in plant-plant interactions. Here, we evaluated biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects in six plant species that differ in salt tolerance in a salt marsh, and conducted a literature review of biomass-density relationship under higher and lower stress levels. Our field study showed that both neighbor effects and the exponent of the biomass-density relationship (α) varied among plant species with different degrees of salt tolerance. There was a positive relationship between neighbor effects (measured as relative interaction index) and α-value among the tested species. The literature review showed that α and its variation increased under higher stress. Our results indicate that plant species with different salinity tolerance differ in the direction and strength of neighbor effects, resulting in variation in biomass-density relationships. Our results support the hypothesis that differences in biomass-density relationships among species are not due to differences in stress tolerance alone, they are mediated by changes in plant-plant interactions.

  2. Overexpression of an Arabidopsis heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein gene, AtRNP1, affects plant growth and reduces plant tolerance to drought and salt stresses.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhenyu; Zhao, Xiuyang; Wang, Bing; Liu, Erlong; Chen, Ni; Zhang, Wei; Liu, Heng

    2016-04-01

    Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) participate in diverse regulations of plant growth and environmental stress responses. In this work, an Arabidopsis hnRNP of unknown function, AtRNP1, was investigated. We found that AtRNP1 gene is highly expressed in rosette and cauline leaves, and slightly induced under drought, salt, osmotic and ABA stresses. AtRNP1 protein is localized to both the nucleus and cytoplasm. We performed homologous overexpression of AtRNP1 and found that the transgenic plants showed shortened root length and plant height, and accelerated flowering. In addition, the transgenic plants also showed reduced tolerance to drought, salt, osmotic and ABA stresses. Further studies revealed that under both normal and stress conditions, the proline contents in the transgenic plants are markedly decreased, associated with reduced expression levels of a proline synthase gene and several stress-responsive genes. These results suggested that the overexpression of AtRNP1 negatively affects plant growth and abiotic stress tolerance. PMID:26923071

  3. Establishment of non-native plant species after wildfires: Effects of fuel treatments, abiotic and biotic factors, and post-fire grass seeding treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, M.E.; Omi, P.N.; Martinson, E.J.; Chong, G.W.

    2006-01-01

    Establishment and spread of non-native species following wildfires can pose threats to long-term native plant recovery. Factors such as disturbance severity, resource availability, and propagule pressure may influence where non-native species establish in burned areas. In addition, pre- and post-fire management activities may influence the likelihood of non-native species establishment. In the present study we examine the establishment of non-native species after wildfires in relation to native species richness, fire severity, dominant native plant cover, resource availability, and pre- and post-fire management actions (fuel treatments and post-fire rehabilitation treatments). We used an information-theoretic approach to compare alternative hypotheses. We analysed post-fire effects at multiple scales at three wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico. For large and small spatial scales at all fires, fire severity was the most consistent predictor of non-native species cover. Non-native species cover was also correlated with high native species richness, low native dominant species cover, and high seeded grass cover. There was a positive, but non-significant, association of non-native species with fuel-treated areas at one wildfire. While there may be some potential for fuels treatments to promote non-native species establishment, wildfire and post-fire seeding treatments seem to have a larger impact on non-native species. ?? IAWF 2006.

  4. Recovery and characterization of a Citrus clementina Hort. ex Tan. 'Clemenules' haploid plant selected to establish the reference whole Citrus genome sequence

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background In recent years, the development of structural genomics has generated a growing interest in obtaining haploid plants. The use of homozygous lines presents a significant advantage for the accomplishment of sequencing projects. Commercial citrus species are characterized by high heterozygosity, making it difficult to assemble large genome sequences. Thus, the International Citrus Genomic Consortium (ICGC) decided to establish a reference whole citrus genome sequence from a homozygous plant. Due to the existence of important molecular resources and previous success in obtaining haploid clementine plants, haploid clementine was selected as the target for the implementation of the reference whole genome citrus sequence. Results To obtain haploid clementine lines we used the technique of in situ gynogenesis induced by irradiated pollen. Flow cytometry, chromosome counts and SSR marker (Simple Sequence Repeats) analysis facilitated the identification of six different haploid lines (2n = x = 9), one aneuploid line (2n = 2x+4 = 22) and one doubled haploid plant (2n = 2x = 18) of 'Clemenules' clementine. One of the haploids, obtained directly from an original haploid embryo, grew vigorously and produced flowers after four years. This is the first haploid plant of clementine that has bloomed and we have, for the first time, characterized the histology of haploid and diploid flowers of clementine. Additionally a double haploid plant was obtained spontaneously from this haploid line. Conclusion The first haploid plant of 'Clemenules' clementine produced directly by germination of a haploid embryo, which grew vigorously and produced flowers, has been obtained in this work. This haploid line has been selected and it is being used by the ICGC to establish the reference sequence of the nuclear genome of citrus. PMID:19698121

  5. Volatiles produced by soil-borne endophytic bacteria increase plant pathogen resistance and affect tritrophic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Ton, Jurriaan; Brandenburg, Anna; Karlen, Danielle; Zopfi, Jakob; Turlings, Ted C. J.

    2014-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by soil microorganisms influence plant growth and pathogen resistance. Yet, very little is known about their influence on herbivores and higher trophic levels. We studied the origin and role of a major bacterial VOC, 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD), on plant growth, pathogen and herbivore resistance, and the attraction of natural enemies in maize. One of the major contributors to 2,3-BD in the headspace of soil-grown maize seedlings was identified as Enterobacter aerogenes, an endophytic bacterium that colonizes the plants. The production of 2,3-BD by E. aerogenes rendered maize plants more resistant against the Northern corn leaf blight fungus Setosphaeria turcica. On the contrary, E. aerogenes-inoculated plants were less resistant against the caterpillar Spodoptera littoralis. The effect of 2,3-BD on the attraction of the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris was more variable: 2,3-BD application to the headspace of the plants had no effect on the parasitoids, but application to the soil increased parasitoid attraction. Furthermore, inoculation of seeds with E. aerogenes decreased plant attractiveness, whereas inoculation of soil with a total extract of soil microbes increased parasitoid attraction, suggesting that the effect of 2,3-BD on the parasitoid is indirect and depends on the composition of the microbial community. PMID:24127750

  6. Plant water relations as affected by heavy metal stress: A review

    SciTech Connect

    Barcelo, J.; Poschenrieder, C. )

    1990-01-01

    Metal toxicity causes multiple direct and indirect effects in plants which concern practically all physiological functions. In this review the effects of excess heavy metals and aluminum on those functions which will alter plant water relations are considered. After a brief comment on the metal effects in cell walls and plasma-lemma, and their consequences for cell expansion growth, the influences of high meal availability on the factors which regulate water entry and water exit in plants are considered. Emphasis is placed on the importance of distinguishing between low water availability in mine and serpentine soils and toxicity effects in plants which may impair the ability of a plant to regulate water uptake. Examples on water relations of both plants grown on metalliferous soil and hydroponics are presented, and the effects of metal toxicity on root growth, water transport and transpiration are considered. It is concluded that future research has to focus on the mechanisms of metal-induced inhibition of both root elongation and morphogenetic processes within roots. In order to understand the relation between metal tolerance and drought resistance better, further studies into metal tolerance mechanisms at the cell wall, membrane and vacuolar level, as well as into the mechanisms of drought resistance of plants adapted to metalliferous soils are required. 135 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  7. Drought induced changes of plant belowground carbon allocation affect soil microbial community function in a subalpine meadow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchslueger, L.; Bahn, M.; Fritz, K.; Hasibeder, R.; Richter, A.

    2012-12-01

    There is growing evidence that climate extremes may affect ecosystem carbon dynamics more strongly than gradual changes in temperatures or precipitation. Climate projections suggest more frequent heat waves accompanied by extreme drought periods in many parts of Europe, including the Alps. Drought is considered to decrease plant C uptake and turnover, which may in turn decrease belowground C allocation and potentially has significant consequences for microbial community composition and functioning. However, information on effects of drought on C dynamics at the plant-soil interface in real ecosystems is still scarce. Our study aimed at understanding how summer drought affects soil microbial community composition and the uptake of recently assimilated plant C by different microbial groups in grassland. We hypothesized that under drought 1) the microbial community shifts, fungi being less affected than bacteria, 2) plants decrease belowground C allocation, which further reduces C transfer to soil microbes and 3) the combined effects of belowground C allocation, reduced soil C transport due to reduced soil moisture and shift in microbial communities cause an accumulation of extractable organic C in the soil. Our study was conducted as part of a rain-exclusion experiment in a subalpine meadow in the Austrian Central Alps. After eight weeks of rain exclusion we pulse labelled drought and control plots with 13CO2 and traced C in plant biomass, extractable organic C (EOC) and soil microbial communities using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). Drought induced a shift of the microbial community composition: gram-positive bacteria became more dominant, whereas gram-negative bacteria were not affected by drought. Also the relative abundance of fungal biomass was not affected by drought. While total microbial biomass (as estimated by total microbial PLFA content) increased during drought, less 13C was taken up. This reduction was pronounced for bacterial biomarkers. It reflects

  8. Using Novel Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) with Optimized Sensor Model to Determine How Establishments Will Be Affected in a 7.0 Hayward Earthquake Scenario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munnangi, P.

    2015-12-01

    The Bay Area is one of the world's most vulnerable places to earthquakes, and being ready is vital to survival. The purpose of this study was to determine the distribution of places affected in a 7.0 Hayward Earthquake and the effectiveness of earthquake early warning (EEW) in this scenario. We manipulated three variables: the location of the epicenter, the station placement, and algorithm used for early warning. To compute the blind zone and warning times, we calculated the P and S wave velocities by using data from the Northern California Earthquake Catalog and the radius of the blind zone using appropriate statistical models. We came up with a linear regression model directly relating warning time and distance from the epicenter. We used Google Earth to plot three hypothetical epicenters on the Hayward Fault and determine which establishments would be affected. By varying the locations, the blind zones and warning times changed. As the radius from the epicenter increased, the warning times also increased. The intensity decreased as the distance from the epicenter grew. We determined which cities were most vulnerable. We came up with a list of cities and their predicted warning times in this hypothetical scenario. For example, for the epicenter in northern Hayward, the cities at most risk were San Pablo, Richmond, and surrounding cities, while the cities at least risk were Gilroy, Modesto, Lincoln, and other cities within that radius. To find optimal station placement, we chose two cities with stations placed variable distances apart from each other. There was more variability in scattered stations than dense stations, suggesting stations placed closer together are more effective since they provide precise warnings. We compared the algorithms ElarmS, which is currently used in the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) and Onsite, which is a single-sensor approach that uses one to two stations, by calculating the blind zone and warning times for each

  9. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp.

    PubMed

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  10. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp.

    PubMed

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  11. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp

    PubMed Central

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  12. Plant Trait Assembly Affects Superiority of Grazer's Foraging Strategies in Species-Rich Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Mládek, Jan; Mládková, Pavla; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Dvorský, Miroslav; Pavlu, Vilém; De Bello, Francesco; Duchoslav, Martin; Hejcman, Michal; Pakeman, Robin J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Current plant – herbivore interaction models and experiments with mammalian herbivores grazing plant monocultures show the superiority of a maximizing forage quality strategy (MFQ) over a maximizing intake strategy (MI). However, there is a lack of evidence whether grazers comply with the model predictions under field conditions. Methodology/Findings We assessed diet selection of sheep (Ovis aries) using plant functional traits in productive mesic vs. low-productivity dry species-rich grasslands dominated by resource-exploitative vs. resource-conservative species respectively. Each grassland type was studied in two replicates for two years. We investigated the first grazing cycle in a set of 288 plots with a diameter of 30 cm, i.e. the size of sheep feeding station. In mesic grasslands, high plot defoliation was associated with community weighted means of leaf traits referring to high forage quality, i.e. low leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and high specific leaf area (SLA), with a high proportion of legumes and the most with high community weighted mean of forage indicator value. In contrast in dry grasslands, high community weighted mean of canopy height, an estimate of forage quantity, was the best predictor of plot defoliation. Similar differences in selection on forage quality vs. quantity were detected within plots. Sheep selected plants with higher forage indicator values than the plot specific community weighted mean of forage indicator value in mesic grasslands whereas taller plants were selected in dry grasslands. However, at this scale sheep avoided legumes and plants with higher SLA, preferred plants with higher LDMC while grazing plants with higher forage indicator values in mesic grasslands. Conclusions Our findings indicate that MFQ appears superior over MI only in habitats with a predominance of resource-exploitative species. Furthermore, plant functional traits (LDMC, SLA, nitrogen fixer) seem to be helpful correlates of forage quality

  13. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C.; Bronstein, Judith L.

    2014-01-01

    Mutualism is an often-complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and in exchange protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40°C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0°C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species. PMID:25012597

  14. The influence of alternative plant propagation and stand establishment techniques on survival and growth of eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides Bartr.) clones.

    SciTech Connect

    Kaczmarek, Donald J.; et. al.,

    2014-02-09

    Four eastern cottonwood clones, including standard operational clone ST66 and three advanced clonal selections were produced and included in a test utilizing five different plant propagation methods. Despite relatively large first-year growth differences among clones, all clones demonstrated similar responses to the treatments and clone 9 cutting treatment interactions were generally non-significant. The effects of changing cutting lengths are consistent with previous studies which indicated the potential for increased plant survival and growth with increased cutting lengths. Differences in stored carbohydrate reserves alone do not appear to completely control first-year growth and development of cuttings. First-year growth of 51 cm long cuttings planted 30.5 cm deep was greater than the same cuttings planted 48 cm deep. Stem form of plants derived from whip-tip propagation did not differ from plants derived from standard, unrooted cuttings. This propagation method offers the potential of far greater production capacity from a cutting orchard and rapid bulk-up of new or limited clones. Stand uniformity assessments suggest that surviving trees of each individual cutting treatment exhibit similar levels of growth variation. Optimization of plantation establishment techniques has the potential to increase growth of young Populus plantations.

  15. Conservation Potential of Abandoned Military Areas Matches That of Established Reserves: Plants and Butterflies in the Czech Republic

    PubMed Central

    Cizek, Oldrich; Vrba, Pavel; Benes, Jiri; Hrazsky, Zaboj; Koptik, Jiri; Kucera, Tomas; Marhoul, Pavel; Zamecnik, Jaroslav; Konvicka, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Military training generates frequent and irregular disturbance followed by succession, resulting in fine-scaled mosaics of ecological conditions in military training areas (MTAs). The awareness that MTAs may represent important biodiversity sanctuaries is increasing recently. Concurrently, changes in military doctrine are leading to abandonment of many MTAs, which are being brought under civilian administration and opened for development. We surveyed vascular plants in 43 and butterflies in 41 MTAs in the Czech Republic and compared the records with plants and butterfly records from 301 and 125 nature reserves, respectively. After controlling for effects of area, geography, and climate, we found that plant species richness was equal in the two land use categories; butterfly richness was higher in MTAs; reserves hosted more endangered plants and more endangered butterflies. Ordination analyses, again controlled for potential nuisance effects, showed that MTAs and reserves differed also in species composition. While specialist species of nationally rarest habitat types inclined towards the reserves, MTAs hosted a high representation of endangered species depending on either disturbed ground, or successionaly transient conditions. These patterns reflect the history of the national nature reserves network, and the disturbance-succession dynamics within MTAs. The conservation value of formerly army-used lands is increasingly threatened by abandonment, and conservationists should support either alternative uses mimicking army activities, or sustainable management regimes. PMID:23326388

  16. Effects of cover crop management and planting operations on cotton establishment and yield in a no-till system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One method to save resources while positively impacting the environment is combining agricultural field operations. In no-till systems, for example, termination of cover crops and planting of the cash crop can be performed simultaneously utilizing a tractor as a single power source. A no-till field ...

  17. 29 CFR 570.51 - Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Labor Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REGULATIONS CHILD LABOR REGULATIONS, ORDERS AND STATEMENTS OF INTERPRETATION Occupations Particularly Hazardous for... 29 Labor 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Occupations in or about plants or...

  18. 29 CFR 570.51 - Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... Labor Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REGULATIONS CHILD LABOR REGULATIONS, ORDERS AND STATEMENTS OF INTERPRETATION Occupations Particularly Hazardous for... 29 Labor 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Occupations in or about plants or...

  19. 29 CFR 570.51 - Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... Labor Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REGULATIONS CHILD LABOR REGULATIONS, ORDERS AND STATEMENTS OF INTERPRETATION Occupations Particularly Hazardous for... 29 Labor 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Occupations in or about plants or...

  20. 29 CFR 570.51 - Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Labor Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REGULATIONS CHILD LABOR REGULATIONS, ORDERS AND STATEMENTS OF INTERPRETATION Occupations Particularly Hazardous for... 29 Labor 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Occupations in or about plants or...

  1. 29 CFR 570.51 - Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Labor Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REGULATIONS CHILD LABOR REGULATIONS, ORDERS AND STATEMENTS OF INTERPRETATION Occupations Particularly Hazardous for... 29 Labor 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Occupations in or about plants or...

  2. EVALUATING THE ROLE OF HABITAT QUALITY ON ESTABLISHMENT OF GM AGROSTIS STOLONIFERA PLANTS IN NON-AGRONOMIC SETTINGS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We compared soil chemistry and plant community data at non-agronomic mesic locations that either did or did not contain genetically modified (GM) Agrostis stolonifera. The best two-variable logistic regression model included soil Mn content and A. stolonifera cover and explained...

  3. Conservation potential of abandoned military areas matches that of established reserves: plants and butterflies in the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Cizek, Oldrich; Vrba, Pavel; Benes, Jiri; Hrazsky, Zaboj; Koptik, Jiri; Kucera, Tomas; Marhoul, Pavel; Zamecnik, Jaroslav; Konvicka, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Military training generates frequent and irregular disturbance followed by succession, resulting in fine-scaled mosaics of ecological conditions in military training areas (MTAs). The awareness that MTAs may represent important biodiversity sanctuaries is increasing recently. Concurrently, changes in military doctrine are leading to abandonment of many MTAs, which are being brought under civilian administration and opened for development. We surveyed vascular plants in 43 and butterflies in 41 MTAs in the Czech Republic and compared the records with plants and butterfly records from 301 and 125 nature reserves, respectively. After controlling for effects of area, geography, and climate, we found that plant species richness was equal in the two land use categories; butterfly richness was higher in MTAs; reserves hosted more endangered plants and more endangered butterflies. Ordination analyses, again controlled for potential nuisance effects, showed that MTAs and reserves differed also in species composition. While specialist species of nationally rarest habitat types inclined towards the reserves, MTAs hosted a high representation of endangered species depending on either disturbed ground, or successionaly transient conditions. These patterns reflect the history of the national nature reserves network, and the disturbance-succession dynamics within MTAs. The conservation value of formerly army-used lands is increasingly threatened by abandonment, and conservationists should support either alternative uses mimicking army activities, or sustainable management regimes.

  4. Plant Fe status affects the composition of siderophore-secreting microbes in the rhizosphere

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Chong Wei; Li, Gui Xin; Yu, Xue Hui; Zheng, Shao Jiang

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Soil microbes have been demonstrated to play an important role in favouring plant iron (Fe) uptake under Fe-limiting conditions. However, the mechanisms involved are still unclear. This present study reported the effects of plant Fe status on the composition of siderophore-secreting microbes in the rhizosphere, and their potential function in improving plant Fe nutrition. Methods An Fe-efficient plant, red clover (Trifolium pratense ‘Kenland’) was cultured in a calcareous soil to obtain rhizosphere soils with (Fe-sufficient) or without (Fe-stressed) foliar FeEDTA spraying. The siderophore-producing ability of rhizospheric microbes was measured. The bioavailability of the siderophore-solubilized Fe from iron oxides/hydroxides was tested in hydroponic culture. Key Results In rhizosphere soil, the number of microbes that secreted siderophores quickly was more in the Fe-stressed treatment than in the Fe-sufficient one, while the number of microbes that did not secret siderophores was the opposite. A significantly higher concentration of phenolics was detected in the rhizosphere soil of Fe-stressed plants. Moreover, after the soil was incubated with phenolic root exudates, the composition of the siderophore-secreting microbial community was similar with that of the rhizosphere of Fe-stressed plant. Additionally, the siderophores produced by a rhizospheric microbe isolated from the Fe-stressed treatment can well solubilize iron oxides/hydroxides, and the utilization of the siderophore-solubilized Fe by plant was even more efficient than EDTA-Fe. Conclusions Iron-deficiency stress of red clover would alter the composition of siderophore-secreting microbes in the rhizosphere, which is probably due to the phenolics secretion of the root, and may in turn help to improve the solubility of Fe in soils and plant Fe nutrition via elevated microbial siderophore secretion. PMID:20356952

  5. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity. PMID:26197473

  6. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity.

  7. Response of barley plants to Fe deficiency and Cd contamination as affected by S starvation.

    PubMed

    Astolfi, S; Zuchi, S; Neumann, G; Cesco, S; Sanità di Toppi, L; Pinton, R

    2012-02-01

    Both Fe deficiency and Cd exposure induce rapid changes in the S nutritional requirement of plants. The aim of this work was to characterize the strategies adopted by plants to cope with both Fe deficiency (release of phytosiderophores) and Cd contamination [production of glutathione (GSH) and phytochelatins] when grown under conditions of limited S supply. Experiments were performed in hydroponics, using barley plants grown under S sufficiency (1.2 mM sulphate) and S deficiency (0 mM sulphate), with or without Fe(III)-EDTA at 0.08 mM for 11 d and subsequently exposed to 0.05 mM Cd for 24 h or 72 h. In S-sufficient plants, Fe deficiency enhanced both root and shoot Cd concentrations and increased GSH and phytochelatin levels. In S-deficient plants, Fe starvation caused a slight increase in Cd concentration, but this change was accompanied neither by an increase in GSH nor by an accumulation of phytochelatins. Release of phytosiderophores, only detectable in Fe-deficient plants, was strongly decreased by S deficiency and further reduced after Cd treatment. In roots Cd exposure increased the expression of the high affinity sulphate transporter gene (HvST1) regardless of the S supply, and the expression of the Fe deficiency-responsive genes, HvYS1 and HvIDS2, irrespective of Fe supply. In conclusion, adequate S availability is necessary to cope with Fe deficiency and Cd toxicity in barley plants. Moreover, it appears that in Fe-deficient plants grown in the presence of Cd with limited S supply, sulphur may be preferentially employed in the pathway for biosynthesis of phytosiderophores, rather than for phytochelatin production.

  8. SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

    SciTech Connect

    L A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts

  9. Big plants — Do they affect neighbourhood species richness and composition in herbaceous vegetation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Schamp, Brandon S.; Wight, Stephanie

    2014-02-01

    According to traditional theory, success in competition between plant species generally involves a 'size-advantage'. We predicted therefore that plants with larger body size should impose greater limits on the number of species — especially relatively small ones — that can reside within their immediate neighbourhoods. Species composition was compared within local neighbourhoods surrounding target plants of different sizes belonging to one of the largest herbaceous species found within old-field vegetation in eastern Ontario Canada — Centaurea jacea. Resident species density was generally greater within immediate 'inner' target neighbourhoods than within adjacent circular 'outer' neighbourhoods, and mean body size of resident neighbour species was unrelated to increases in target plant size. As target plant size increased, the proportion of resident neighbour species that were reproductive increased. Relatively big plants of C. jacea do not limit the number or the proportion of reproductive species that can coexist within their immediate neighbourhoods, nor do they cause local exclusion of relatively small species from these neighbourhoods. These results fail to support the 'size-advantage' hypothesis and are more consistent with the 'reproductive economy advantage' hypothesis: success under intense competition is promoted by capacity to recruit offspring that — despite severe suppression — are able to reach their minimum body size needed for reproduction, and hence produce grand-offspring for the next generation. The latter is facilitated by a relatively small minimum reproductive threshold size, which is generally negatively correlated with a relatively large maximum potential body size.

  10. Magnitude of nighttime transpiration does not affect plant growth or nutrition in well-watered Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Christman, Mairgareth A; Donovan, Lisa A; Richards, James H

    2009-07-01

    Significant water loss occurs throughout the night via partially open stomata in many C(3) and C(4) plant species. Although apparently wasteful in terms of water use, nighttime transpiration (E(night)) is hypothesized to benefit plants by enhancing nutrient supply. We tested the hypothesis that plants with greater E(night) would have improved plant nutrient status and greater fitness, estimated as pre-bolting biomass, for Arabidopsis thaliana. Two very different levels of E(night) were generated in plants by exposing them to high vs low nighttime leaf-to-air vapor pressure deficits (VPD(leaf)) in controlled environment chambers. An assessment of responses of nighttime leaf conductance (g(night)) to VPD(leaf) indicated that E(night) differed by at least 80% between the treatments. This large difference in E(night), imposed over the entire vegetative growth phase of Arabidopsis, had no effect on leaf nutrient content (N, Ca, K) or pre-bolting rosette biomass. The lack of response to differences in E(night) held true for both a high and a low nitrogen (N) treatment, even though the low N treatment decreased leaf N and biomass by 40-60%. The N treatment had no effect on g(night). Thus, higher E(night) did not provide a nutrient or growth benefit to Arabidopsis, even when the plants were N-limited.

  11. NIMA-related kinase NEK6 affects plant growth and stress response in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bo; Chen, Hao-Wei; Mu, Rui-Ling; Zhang, Wang-Ke; Zhao, Ming-Yu; Wei, Wei; Wang, Fang; Yu, Hui; Lei, Gang; Zou, Hong-Feng; Ma, Biao; Chen, Shou-Yi; Zhang, Jin-Song

    2011-12-01

    The NIMA-related kinases (NEKs) are a family of serine/threonine kinases involved largely in cell cycle control in fungi, mammals and other eukaryotes. In Arabidopsis, NEK6 is involved in the regulation of epidermal cell morphogenesis. However, other roles of NEK6 in plants are less well understood. Here we report functions of NEK6 in plant growth, development and stress responses in Arabidopsis. NEK6 transcripts and proteins are induced by ethylene precursor ACC and salt stress. Expression of other NEK genes except NEK5 is also responsive to the two treatments. Overexpression and mutant analysis disclose that the NEK6 gene increases rosette growth, seed yield and lateral root formation. However, NEK6 appears to play a negative role in the control of seed size. The gene also promotes plant tolerance to salt stress and osmotic stress in its overexpressing plants. The NEK6 gene may achieve its function through suppression of ethylene biosynthesis and activation of CYCB1;1 and CYCA3;1 expression. Our present study reveals new functions of the NEK6 gene in plant growth and stress tolerance, and manipulation of NEK6 may improve important agronomic traits in crop plants. PMID:21801253

  12. Drying and Storage Methods Affect Cyfluthrin Concentrations in Exposed Plant Samples.

    PubMed

    Moore, M T; Kröger, R; Locke, M A

    2016-08-01

    Standard procedures do not exist for drying and storage of plant samples prior to chemical analyses. Since immediate analysis is not always possible, current research examined which plant drying and storage method yielded the highest cyfluthrin recovery rates compared to traditional mechanical freeze-drying methods. Fifteen mesocosms were planted with rice. Cyfluthrin (5 mg L(-1)) was amended into the water column of individual mesocosms. 48 h later, plant material in the water column was collected from each mesocosm. Control (mechanical freeze drying) recovery was significantly greater (p < 0.001) than all 14 combinations of drying and storage. Significant differences also existed between all 14 different combinations. Greatest cyfluthrin recoveries in non-control plants were from the freezer-greenhouse-freezer drying and storage method. Results offer evidence for the efficient plant drying and storage methods prior to cyfluthrin analysis. Future studies should perform comparable analyses on various pesticide classes to determine possible relationships. PMID:27225509

  13. Plant establishment and invasions: an increase in a seed disperser combined with land abandonment causes an invasion of the non-native walnut in Europe.

    PubMed

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr; Knops, Johannes M H; Morón, Dawid; Tworek, Stanisław; Woyciechowski, Michał

    2012-04-22

    Successful invasive species often are established for a long time period before increasing exponentially in abundance. This lag phase is one of the least understood phenomena of biological invasions. Plant invasions depend on three factors: a seed source, suitable habitat and a seed disperser. The non-native walnut, Juglans regia, has been planted for centuries in Central Europe but, until recently, has not spread beyond planted areas. However, in the past 20 years, we have observed a rapid increase in walnut abundance, specifically in abandoned agricultural fields. The dominant walnut disperser is the rook, Corvus frugilegus. During the past 50 years, rooks have increased in abundance and now commonly inhabit human settlements, where walnut trees are planted. Central Europe has, in the past few decades, experienced large-scale land abandonment. Walnut seeds dispersed into ploughed fields do not survive, but when cached into ploughed and then abandoned fields, they successfully establish. Rooks preferentially cache seeds in ploughed fields. Thus, land-use change combined with disperser changes can cause rapid increase of a non-native species, allowing it to become invasive. This may have cascading effects on the entire ecosystem. Thus, species that are non-native and not invasive can become invasive as habitats and dispersers change.

  14. Plant establishment and invasions: an increase in a seed disperser combined with land abandonment causes an invasion of the non-native walnut in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Moroń, Dawid; Tworek, Stanisław; Woyciechowski, Michał

    2012-01-01

    Successful invasive species often are established for a long time period before increasing exponentially in abundance. This lag phase is one of the least understood phenomena of biological invasions. Plant invasions depend on three factors: a seed source, suitable habitat and a seed disperser. The non-native walnut, Juglans regia, has been planted for centuries in Central Europe but, until recently, has not spread beyond planted areas. However, in the past 20 years, we have observed a rapid increase in walnut abundance, specifically in abandoned agricultural fields. The dominant walnut disperser is the rook, Corvus frugilegus. During the past 50 years, rooks have increased in abundance and now commonly inhabit human settlements, where walnut trees are planted. Central Europe has, in the past few decades, experienced large-scale land abandonment. Walnut seeds dispersed into ploughed fields do not survive, but when cached into ploughed and then abandoned fields, they successfully establish. Rooks preferentially cache seeds in ploughed fields. Thus, land-use change combined with disperser changes can cause rapid increase of a non-native species, allowing it to become invasive. This may have cascading effects on the entire ecosystem. Thus, species that are non-native and not invasive can become invasive as habitats and dispersers change. PMID:22072603

  15. Mulch and fertilizer management practices for organic production of highbush blueberry. II. Impact on plant and soil nutrients during establishment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A systems trial was established to evaluate management practices for organic production of highbush blueberry. The practices included two bed types (flat and raised), two sources and rates of fertilizer (feather meal and fish emulsion applied at 29 and 57 kg/ha N), three mulches [sawdust, compost to...

  16. Population-related variation in plant defense more strongly affects survival of an herbivore than its solitary parasitoid wasp.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta

    2011-10-01

    The performance of natural enemies, such as parasitoid wasps, is affected by differences in the quality of the host's diet, frequently mediated by species or population-related differences in plant allelochemistry. Here, we compared survival, development time, and body mass in a generalist herbivore, the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae, and its solitary endoparasitoid, Microplitis mediator, when reared on two cultivated (CYR and STH) and three wild (KIM, OH, and WIN) populations of cabbage, Brassica oleracea. Plants either were undamaged or induced by feeding of larvae of the cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae. Development and biomass of M. brassicae and Mi. mediator were similar on both cultivated and one wild cabbage population (KIM), intermediate on the OH population, and significantly lower on the WIN population. Moreover, development was prolonged and biomass was reduced on herbivore-induced plants. However, only the survival of parasitized hosts (and not that of healthy larvae) was affected by induction. Analysis of glucosinolates in leaves of the cabbages revealed higher levels in the wild populations than cultivars, with the highest concentrations in WIN plants. Multivariate statistics revealed a negative correlation between insect performance and total levels of glucosinolates (GS) and levels of 3-butenyl GS. However, GS chemistry could not explain the reduced performance on induced plants since only indole GS concentrations increased in response to herbivory, which did not affect insect performance based on multivariate statistics. This result suggests that, in addition to aliphatic GS, other non-GS chemicals are responsible for the decline in insect performance, and that these chemicals affect the parasitoid more strongly than the host. Remarkably, when developing on WIN plants, the survival of Mi. mediator to adult eclosion was much higher than in its host, M. brassicae. This may be due to the fact that hosts parasitized by Mi. mediator pass through fewer

  17. Microbial composition in a deep saline aquifer in the North German Basin -microbiologically induced corrosion and mineral precipitation affecting geothermal plant operation and the effects of plant downtime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerm, Stephanie; Westphal, Anke; Miethling-Graff, Rona; Alawi, Mashal; Seibt, Andrea; Wolfgramm, Markus; Würdemann, Hilke

    2013-04-01

    The microbial composition in fluids of a deep saline geothermal used aquifer in the North German Basin was characterized over a period of five years. The genetic fingerprinting techniques PCR-SSCP and PCR-DGGE revealed distinct microbial communities in fluids produced from the cold and warm side of the aquifer. Direct cell counting and quantification of 16S rRNA genes and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA) genes by real-time PCR proved different population sizes in fluids, showing higher abundance of Bacteria and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in cold fluids compared to warm fluids. Predominating SRB in the cold well probably accounted for corrosion damage to the submersible well pump, and iron sulfide precipitates in the near wellbore area and topside facility filters. This corresponded to a lower sulfate content in fluids produced from the cold well as well as higher content of hydrogen gas that was probably released from corrosion, and maybe favoured growth of hydrogenotrophic SRB. Plant downtime significantly influenced the microbial biocenosis in fluids. Samples taken after plant restart gave indications about the processes occurring downhole during those phases. High DNA concentrations in fluids at the beginning of the restart process with a decreasing trend over time indicated a higher abundance of microbes during plant downtime compared to regular plant operation. It is likely that a gradual drop in temperature as well as stagnant conditions favoured the growth of microbes and maturation of biofilms at the casing and in pores of the reservoir rock in the near wellbore area. Furthermore, it became obvious that the microorganisms were more associated to particles then free-living. This study reflects the high influence of microbial populations for geothermal plant operation, because microbiologically induced precipitative and corrosive processes adversely affect plant reliability. Those processes may favourably occur during plant downtime due to enhanced

  18. How do soil texture, plant community composition and earthworms affected the infiltration rate in a grassland plant diversity experiment depending on season?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Christine; Britta, Merkel; Nico, Eisenhauer; Christiane, Roscher; Sabine, Attinger; Stefan, Scheu; Anke, Hildebrandt

    2013-04-01

    Background and aims: In this study we analyzed the influences of plant community characteristics, soil texture and earthworm presence on infiltration rates on a managed grassland plant diversity experiment assessing the role of biotic and abiotic factors on soil hydrology. Methods: We measured infiltration using a hood infiltrometer in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density (earthworm extraction) nested in plots of different plant species richness (1, 4, and 16), plant functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) in early summer (June) and autumn (September, October) 2011. Results: The presence of certain plant functional groups such as grasses and legumes influenced infiltration rates and this effect enhanced during the growing season. Infiltration was significantly higher in plots containing legumes than in plots without, and it was significantly lower in the presence of grasses than in their absence. In early summer, earthworm presence and biomass increased the infiltration rates, independently of plant species richness. In October, plant species richness only affected infiltration rates in reduced earthworm plots. At the end of the growing season earthworm populations were negatively influenced by grasses and positively by legumes. In September, infiltration rates were positive related to the proportion of finer grains. The correlation disappears when removing all plots containing legumes from the sample. For all measurements the infiltration rates decreases from early summer to autumn at the matric potentials at pressure zero and -0.02 m, but not for smaller macropores at matric potentials -0.04 and -0.06m. Conclusions: Considering infiltration rates as ecosystem function, this function will largely depend on the ecosystem composition and season, not on biodiversity per se. Our results indicate that biotic factors are of overriding influence for shaping infiltration rates mainly for larger macropores

  19. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment. PMID:25288547

  20. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment.

  1. An evaluation of new and established methods to determine T-DNA copy number and homozygosity in transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Głowacka, Katarzyna; Kromdijk, Johannes; Leonelli, Lauriebeth; Niyogi, Krishna K; Clemente, Tom E; Long, Stephen P

    2016-04-01

    Stable transformation of plants is a powerful tool for hypothesis testing. A rapid and reliable evaluation method of the transgenic allele for copy number and homozygosity is vital in analysing these transformations. Here the suitability of Southern blot analysis, thermal asymmetric interlaced (TAIL-)PCR, quantitative (q)PCR and digital droplet (dd)PCR to estimate T-DNA copy number, locus complexity and homozygosity were compared in transgenic tobacco. Southern blot analysis and ddPCR on three generations of transgenic offspring with contrasting zygosity and copy number were entirely consistent, whereas TAIL-PCR often underestimated copy number. qPCR deviated considerably from the Southern blot results and had lower precision and higher variability than ddPCR. Comparison of segregation analyses and ddPCR of T1 progeny from 26 T0 plants showed that at least 19% of the lines carried multiple T-DNA insertions per locus, which can lead to unstable transgene expression. Segregation analyses failed to detect these multiple copies, presumably because of their close linkage. This shows the importance of routine T-DNA copy number estimation. Based on our results, ddPCR is the most suitable method, because it is as reliable as Southern blot analysis yet much faster. A protocol for this application of ddPCR to large plant genomes is provided.

  2. An evaluation of new and established methods to determine T-DNA copy number and homozygosity in transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Głowacka, Katarzyna; Kromdijk, Johannes; Leonelli, Lauriebeth; Niyogi, Krishna K; Clemente, Tom E; Long, Stephen P

    2016-04-01

    Stable transformation of plants is a powerful tool for hypothesis testing. A rapid and reliable evaluation method of the transgenic allele for copy number and homozygosity is vital in analysing these transformations. Here the suitability of Southern blot analysis, thermal asymmetric interlaced (TAIL-)PCR, quantitative (q)PCR and digital droplet (dd)PCR to estimate T-DNA copy number, locus complexity and homozygosity were compared in transgenic tobacco. Southern blot analysis and ddPCR on three generations of transgenic offspring with contrasting zygosity and copy number were entirely consistent, whereas TAIL-PCR often underestimated copy number. qPCR deviated considerably from the Southern blot results and had lower precision and higher variability than ddPCR. Comparison of segregation analyses and ddPCR of T1 progeny from 26 T0 plants showed that at least 19% of the lines carried multiple T-DNA insertions per locus, which can lead to unstable transgene expression. Segregation analyses failed to detect these multiple copies, presumably because of their close linkage. This shows the importance of routine T-DNA copy number estimation. Based on our results, ddPCR is the most suitable method, because it is as reliable as Southern blot analysis yet much faster. A protocol for this application of ddPCR to large plant genomes is provided. PMID:26670088

  3. Fungal infection reduces herbivore-induced plant volatiles of maize but does not affect naïve parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Rostás, Michael; Ton, Jurriaan; Mauch-Mani, Brigitte; Turlings, Ted C J

    2006-09-01

    Plants attacked by insects release volatile compounds that attract the herbivores' natural enemies. This so-called indirect defense is plastic and may be affected by an array of biotic and abiotic factors. We investigated the effect of fungal infection as a biotic stress agent on the emission of herbivore-induced volatiles and the possible consequences for the attraction of two parasitoid species. Maize seedlings that were simultaneously attacked by the fungus Setosphaeria turcica and larvae of Spodoptera littoralis emitted a blend of volatiles that was qualitatively similar to the blend emitted by maize that was damaged by only the herbivore, but there was a clear quantitative difference. When simultaneously challenged by fungus and herbivore, the maize plants emitted in total 47% less of the volatiles. Emissions of green leaf volatiles were unaffected. In a six-arm olfactometer, the parasitoids Cotesia marginiventris and Microplitis rufiventris responded equally well to odors of herbivore-damaged and fungus- and herbivore-damaged maize plants. Healthy and fungus-infected plants were not attractive. An additional experiment showed that the performance of S. littoralis caterpillars was not affected by the presence of the pathogen, nor was there an effect on larvae of M. rufiventris developing inside the caterpillars. Our results confirm previous indications that naïve wasps may respond primarily to the green leaf volatiles.

  4. Increased phloem transport of S-methylmethionine positively affects sulfur and nitrogen metabolism and seed development in pea plants.

    PubMed

    Tan, Qiumin; Zhang, Lizhi; Grant, Jan; Cooper, Pauline; Tegeder, Mechthild

    2010-12-01

    Seeds of grain legumes are important energy and food sources for humans and animals. However, the yield and quality of legume seeds are limited by the amount of sulfur (S) partitioned to the seeds. The amino acid S-methylmethionine (SMM), a methionine derivative, has been proposed to be an important long-distance transport form of reduced S, and we analyzed whether SMM phloem loading and source-sink translocation are important for the metabolism and growth of pea (Pisum sativum) plants. Transgenic plants were produced in which the expression of a yeast SMM transporter, S-Methylmethionine Permease1 (MMP1, YLL061W), was targeted to the phloem and seeds. Phloem exudate analysis showed that concentrations of SMM are elevated in MMP1 plants, suggesting increased phloem loading. Furthermore, expression studies of genes involved in S transport and metabolism in source organs, as well as xylem sap analyses, support that S uptake and assimilation are positively affected in MMP1 roots. Concomitantly, nitrogen (N) assimilation in root and leaf and xylem amino acid profiles were changed, resulting in increased phloem loading of amino acids. When investigating the effects of increased S and N phloem transport on seed metabolism, we found that protein levels were improved in MMP1 seeds. In addition, changes in SMM phloem loading affected plant growth and seed number, leading to an overall increase in seed S, N, and protein content in MMP1 plants. Together, these results suggest that phloem loading and source-sink partitioning of SMM are important for plant S and N metabolism and transport as well as seed set.

  5. Changes in the salinity tolerance of sweet pepper plants as affected by nitrogen form and high CO2 concentration.

    PubMed

    Piñero, María C; Pérez-Jiménez, Margarita; López-Marín, Josefa; Del Amor, Francisco M

    2016-08-01

    The assimilation and availability of nitrogen in its different forms can significantly affect the response of primary productivity under the current atmospheric alteration and soil degradation. An elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) triggers changes in the efficiency and efficacy of photosynthetic processes, water use and product yield, the plant response to stress being altered with respect to ambient CO2 conditions (a[CO2]). Additionally, NH4(+) has been related to improved plant responses to stress, considering both energy efficiency in N-assimilation and the overcoming of the inhibition of photorespiration at e[CO2]. Therefore, the aim of this work was to determine the response of sweet pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L.) receiving an additional supply of NH4(+) (90/10 NO3(-)/NH4(+)) to salinity stress (60mM NaCl) under a[CO2] (400μmolmol(-1)) or e[CO2] (800μmolmol(-1)). Salt-stressed plants grown at e[CO2] showed DW accumulation similar to that of the non-stressed plants at a[CO2]. The supply of NH4(+) reduced growth at e[CO2] when salinity was imposed. Moreover, NH4(+) differentially affected the stomatal conductance and water use efficiency and the leaf Cl(-), K(+), and Na(+) concentrations, but the extent of the effects was influenced by the [CO2]. An antioxidant-related response was prompted by salinity, the total phenolics and proline concentrations being reduced by NH4(+) at e[CO2]. Our results show that the effect of NH4(+) on plant salinity tolerance should be globally re-evaluated as e[CO2] can significantly alter the response, when compared with previous studies at a[CO2].

  6. Changes in the salinity tolerance of sweet pepper plants as affected by nitrogen form and high CO2 concentration.

    PubMed

    Piñero, María C; Pérez-Jiménez, Margarita; López-Marín, Josefa; Del Amor, Francisco M

    2016-08-01

    The assimilation and availability of nitrogen in its different forms can significantly affect the response of primary productivity under the current atmospheric alteration and soil degradation. An elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) triggers changes in the efficiency and efficacy of photosynthetic processes, water use and product yield, the plant response to stress being altered with respect to ambient CO2 conditions (a[CO2]). Additionally, NH4(+) has been related to improved plant responses to stress, considering both energy efficiency in N-assimilation and the overcoming of the inhibition of photorespiration at e[CO2]. Therefore, the aim of this work was to determine the response of sweet pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L.) receiving an additional supply of NH4(+) (90/10 NO3(-)/NH4(+)) to salinity stress (60mM NaCl) under a[CO2] (400μmolmol(-1)) or e[CO2] (800μmolmol(-1)). Salt-stressed plants grown at e[CO2] showed DW accumulation similar to that of the non-stressed plants at a[CO2]. The supply of NH4(+) reduced growth at e[CO2] when salinity was imposed. Moreover, NH4(+) differentially affected the stomatal conductance and water use efficiency and the leaf Cl(-), K(+), and Na(+) concentrations, but the extent of the effects was influenced by the [CO2]. An antioxidant-related response was prompted by salinity, the total phenolics and proline concentrations being reduced by NH4(+) at e[CO2]. Our results show that the effect of NH4(+) on plant salinity tolerance should be globally re-evaluated as e[CO2] can significantly alter the response, when compared with previous studies at a[CO2]. PMID:27317970

  7. Do postfire mulching treatments affect plant community recovery in California coastal sage scrub lands?

    PubMed

    McCullough, Sarah A; Endress, Bryan A

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of postfire mulch treatments to stabilize slopes and reduce soil erosion in shrubland ecosystems has increased; however, the potential effects on plant recovery have not been examined. To evaluate the effects of mulching treatments on postfire plant recovery in southern California coastal sage scrub, we conducted a field experiment with three experimental treatments, consisting of two hydromulch products and an erosion control blanket, plus a control treatment. The area burned in 2007, and treatments were applied to six plot blocks before the 2008 growing season. Treatment effects on plant community recovery were analyzed with a mixed effects ANOVA analysis using a univariate repeated measures approach. Absolute plant cover increased from 13 to 90% by the end of the second growing season, and the mean relative cover of exotic species was 32%. The two hydromulch treatments had no effect on any plant community recovery response variable measured. For the erosion control blanket treatment, the amount of bare ground cover at the end of the second growing season was significantly lower (P = 0.01), and greater shrub height was observed (P < 0.01). We conclude that postfire mulch treatments did not provide either a major benefit or negative impact to coastal sage scrub recovery on the study area.

  8. Uptake of Pharmaceuticals Influences Plant Development and Affects Nutrient and Hormone Homeostases.

    PubMed

    Carter, Laura J; Williams, Mike; Böttcher, Christine; Kookana, Rai S

    2015-10-20

    The detection of a range of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the soil environment has led to a number of publications demonstrating uptake by crops, however very few studies have explored the potential for impacts on plant development as a result of API uptake. This study investigated the effect of carbamazepine and verapamil (0.005-10 mg/kg) on a range of plant responses in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo). Uptake increased in a dose-dependent manner, with maximum leaf concentrations of 821.9 and 2.2 mg/kg for carbamazepine and verapamil, respectively. Increased carbamazepine uptake by zucchini resulted in a decrease in above (<60%) and below (<30%) ground biomass compared to the controls (p < 0.05). At soil concentrations >4 mg/kg the mature leaves suffered from burnt edges and white spots as well as a reduction in photosynthetic pigments but no such effects were seen for verapamil. For both APIs, further investigations revealed significant differences in the concentrations of selected plant hormones (auxins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and jasmonates), and in the nutrient composition of the leaves in comparison to the controls (p < 0.05). This is some of the first research to demonstrate that the exposure of plants to APIs is likely to cause impacts on plant development with unknown implications.

  9. Morphological Characteristics of Maize Canopy Development as Affected by Increased Plant Density.

    PubMed

    Song, Youhong; Rui, Yukui; Bedane, Guta; Li, Jincai

    2016-01-01

    Improving crop productivity through higher plant density requires a detailed understanding of organ development in response to increased interplant competition. The objective of this paper is thus to investigate the characteristics of organ development under increased interplant competition. A field experiment was conducted to investigate organ development across 4 maize plant densities i.e. 2, 6, 12 and 20 plants m-2 (referred to PD2, PD6, PD12 and PD20 respectively). In response to increased interplant competition, lengths of both laminae and sheaths increased in lower phytomers, but decreased in upper phytomers. Sheath extension appeared to be less sensitive to increased interplant competition than lamina extension. Extension of laminae and internodes responded to increased plant density as soon as onset of mild interplant competition, but did not respond any further to severe competition. Both lamina width and internode diameter were reduced due to a smaller growth rate in response to increased plant density. Overall, this study identified that organ expansion rate can be taken as the key morphological factor to determine the degree of interplant competition.

  10. Morphological Characteristics of Maize Canopy Development as Affected by Increased Plant Density

    PubMed Central

    Song, Youhong; Rui, Yukui; Bedane, Guta; Li, Jincai

    2016-01-01

    Improving crop productivity through higher plant density requires a detailed understanding of organ development in response to increased interplant competition. The objective of this paper is thus to investigate the characteristics of organ development under increased interplant competition. A field experiment was conducted to investigate organ development across 4 maize plant densities i.e. 2, 6, 12 and 20 plants m–2 (referred to PD2, PD6, PD12 and PD20 respectively). In response to increased interplant competition, lengths of both laminae and sheaths increased in lower phytomers, but decreased in upper phytomers. Sheath extension appeared to be less sensitive to increased interplant competition than lamina extension. Extension of laminae and internodes responded to increased plant density as soon as onset of mild interplant competition, but did not respond any further to severe competition. Both lamina width and internode diameter were reduced due to a smaller growth rate in response to increased plant density. Overall, this study identified that organ expansion rate can be taken as the key morphological factor to determine the degree of interplant competition. PMID:27129101

  11. Uptake of Pharmaceuticals Influences Plant Development and Affects Nutrient and Hormone Homeostases.

    PubMed

    Carter, Laura J; Williams, Mike; Böttcher, Christine; Kookana, Rai S

    2015-10-20

    The detection of a range of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the soil environment has led to a number of publications demonstrating uptake by crops, however very few studies have explored the potential for impacts on plant development as a result of API uptake. This study investigated the effect of carbamazepine and verapamil (0.005-10 mg/kg) on a range of plant responses in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo). Uptake increased in a dose-dependent manner, with maximum leaf concentrations of 821.9 and 2.2 mg/kg for carbamazepine and verapamil, respectively. Increased carbamazepine uptake by zucchini resulted in a decrease in above (<60%) and below (<30%) ground biomass compared to the controls (p < 0.05). At soil concentrations >4 mg/kg the mature leaves suffered from burnt edges and white spots as well as a reduction in photosynthetic pigments but no such effects were seen for verapamil. For both APIs, further investigations revealed significant differences in the concentrations of selected plant hormones (auxins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and jasmonates), and in the nutrient composition of the leaves in comparison to the controls (p < 0.05). This is some of the first research to demonstrate that the exposure of plants to APIs is likely to cause impacts on plant development with unknown implications. PMID:26418514

  12. A comprehensive dose evaluation project concerning animals affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: its set-up and progress

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Shintaro; Inoue, Kazuya; Suzuki, Masatoshi; Urushihara, Yusuke; Kuwahara, Yoshikazu; Hayashi, Gohei; Shiga, Soichiro; Fukumoto, Motoi; Kino, Yasushi; Sekine, Tsutomu; Abe, Yasuyuki; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Isogai, Emiko; Yamashiro, Hideaki; Fukumoto, Manabu

    2015-01-01

    It is not an exaggeration to say that, without nuclear accidents or the analysis of radiation therapy, there is no way in which we are able to quantify radiation effects on humans. Therefore, the livestock abandoned in the ex-evacuation zone and euthanized due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident are extremely valuable for analyzing the environmental pollution, its biodistribution, the metabolism of radionuclides, dose evaluation and the influence of internal exposure. We, therefore, sought to establish an archive system and to open it to researchers for increasing our understanding of radiation biology and improving protection against radiation. The sample bank of animals affected by the FNPP accident consists of frozen tissue samples, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens, dose of radionuclides deposited, etc., with individual sampling data. PMID:26687285

  13. A comprehensive dose evaluation project concerning animals affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: its set-up and progress.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Shintaro; Inoue, Kazuya; Suzuki, Masatoshi; Urushihara, Yusuke; Kuwahara, Yoshikazu; Hayashi, Gohei; Shiga, Soichiro; Fukumoto, Motoi; Kino, Yasushi; Sekine, Tsutomu; Abe, Yasuyuki; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Isogai, Emiko; Yamashiro, Hideaki; Fukumoto, Manabu

    2015-12-01

    It is not an exaggeration to say that, without nuclear accidents or the analysis of radiation therapy, there is no way in which we are able to quantify radiation effects on humans. Therefore, the livestock abandoned in the ex-evacuation zone and euthanized due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident are extremely valuable for analyzing the environmental pollution, its biodistribution, the metabolism of radionuclides, dose evaluation and the influence of internal exposure. We, therefore, sought to establish an archive system and to open it to researchers for increasing our understanding of radiation biology and improving protection against radiation. The sample bank of animals affected by the FNPP accident consists of frozen tissue samples, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens, dose of radionuclides deposited, etc., with individual sampling data. PMID:26687285

  14. A comprehensive dose evaluation project concerning animals affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: its set-up and progress.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Shintaro; Inoue, Kazuya; Suzuki, Masatoshi; Urushihara, Yusuke; Kuwahara, Yoshikazu; Hayashi, Gohei; Shiga, Soichiro; Fukumoto, Motoi; Kino, Yasushi; Sekine, Tsutomu; Abe, Yasuyuki; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Isogai, Emiko; Yamashiro, Hideaki; Fukumoto, Manabu

    2015-12-01

    It is not an exaggeration to say that, without nuclear accidents or the analysis of radiation therapy, there is no way in which we are able to quantify radiation effects on humans. Therefore, the livestock abandoned in the ex-evacuation zone and euthanized due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident are extremely valuable for analyzing the environmental pollution, its biodistribution, the metabolism of radionuclides, dose evaluation and the influence of internal exposure. We, therefore, sought to establish an archive system and to open it to researchers for increasing our understanding of radiation biology and improving protection against radiation. The sample bank of animals affected by the FNPP accident consists of frozen tissue samples, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens, dose of radionuclides deposited, etc., with individual sampling data.

  15. Modification of nitrate uptake pathway in plants affects the cadmium uptake by roots.

    PubMed

    Guan, Mei Yan; Fan, Shi Kai; Fang, Xian Zhi; Jin, Chong Wei

    2015-01-01

    NRT1.1 is a dual-affinity nitrate (NO3(-)) transporter involved in both high- and low-affinity NO3(-) uptake in Arabidopsis plants. In a recent study, we showed that, under cadmium (Cd) exposure, blocking the NRT1.1-mediated NO3(-) uptake reduces Cd entry into roots, thus lowing Cd levels in plants and improving plant growth. In addition, we also found that the Cd levels in edible parts of 11 Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) cultivars correlated well with the NO3(-) uptake rates of their roots. These results suggested that the NO3(-) uptake of roots negatively regulate Cd uptake. Modification of NO3(-) uptake in crops by modulating NO3(-) uptake pathway might provide a biological engineering approach to reducing Cd accumulation in edible organs, thus improving food safety.

  16. How do increasing background concentrations of tropospheric ozone affect peatland plant growth and carbon gas exchange?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williamson, Jennifer L.; Mills, Gina; Hayes, Felicity; Jones, Timothy; Freeman, Chris

    2016-02-01

    In this study we have demonstrated that plants originating from upland peat bogs are sensitive to increasing background concentrations of ozone. Peatland mesocosms from an upland peat bog in North Wales, UK were exposed to eight levels of elevated background ozone in solardomes for 4 months from May to August, with 24 h mean ozone concentrations ranging from 16 to 94 ppb and cumulative AOT024hr ranging from 45.98 ppm h to 259.63 ppm h. Our results show that plant senescence increased with increasing exposure to ozone, although there was no significant effect of increasing ozone on plant biomass. Assessments of carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from the mesocosms suggests that there was no change in carbon dioxide fluxes over the 4 month exposure period but that methane fluxes increased as cumulative ozone exposure increased to a maximum AOT 024hr of approximately 120 ppm h and then decreased as cumulative ozone exposure increased further.

  17. Volatile communication between plants that affects herbivory: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Yang, Louie H; Edwards, Kyle F

    2014-01-01

    Volatile communication between plants causing enhanced defence has been controversial. Early studies were not replicated, and influential reviews questioned the validity of the phenomenon. We collected 48 well-replicated studies and found overall support for the hypothesis that resistance increased for individuals with damaged neighbours. Laboratory or greenhouse studies and those conducted on agricultural crops showed stronger induced resistance than field studies on undomesticated species, presumably because other variation had been reduced. A cumulative analysis revealed that early, non-replicated studies were more variable and showed less evidence for communication. Effects of habitat and plant growth form were undetectable. In most cases, the mechanisms of resistance and alternative hypotheses were not considered. There was no indication that some response variables were more likely to produce large effects. These results indicate that plants of diverse taxonomic affinities and ecological conditions become more resistant to herbivores when exposed to volatiles from damaged neighbours.

  18. Plant waxy bloom on peas affects infection of pea aphids by Pandora neoaphidis.

    PubMed

    Duetting, Patrick S; Ding, Hongjian; Neufeld, Jeffrey; Eigenbrode, Sanford D

    2003-11-01

    This study examined the effects of the surface wax bloom of pea plants, Pisum sativum, on infection of pea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum, by the fungal pathogen Pandora neoaphidis. In prior field surveys, a higher proportion of P. neoaphidis-killed pea aphids (cadavers) had been observed on a pea line with reduced wax bloom, as compared with a sister line with normal surface wax bloom. Laboratory bioassays were conducted in order to examine the mechanisms. After plants of each line infested with aphids were exposed to similar densities of conidia, the rate of accumulation of cadavers on the reduced wax line was significantly greater than on the normal wax bloom line; at the end of the experiment (13d), the proportion of aphid cadavers on the reduced wax line was approximately four times that on the normal wax bloom line. When plants were exposed to conidia first and then infested with aphids, the rate of accumulation of cadavers was slightly but significantly greater on the reduced wax line, and infection at the end of the experiment (16d) did not differ between the lines. When aphids were exposed first and then released onto the plants, no differences in the proportion of aphid cadavers were observed between the pea lines. Greater infection of pea aphid on reduced wax peas appears to depend upon plants being exposed to inoculum while aphids are settled in typical feeding positions on the plant. Additional experiments demonstrated increased adhesion and germination by P. neoaphidis conidia to leaf surfaces of the reduced wax line as compared with normal wax line, and this could help explain the higher infection rate by P. neoaphidis on the reduced wax line. In bioassays using surface waxes extracted from the two lines, there was no effect of wax source on germination of P. neoaphidis conidia.

  19. Plant species diversity affects soil-atmosphere fluxes of methane and nitrous oxide.

    PubMed

    Niklaus, Pascal A; Le Roux, Xavier; Poly, Franck; Buchmann, Nina; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Weigelt, Alexandra; Barnard, Romain L

    2016-07-01

    Plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning can potentially interact with global climate by altering fluxes of the radiatively active trace gases nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). We studied the effects of grassland species richness (1-16) in combination with application of fertilizer (nitrogen:phosphorus:potassium = 100:43.6:83 kg ha(-1) a(-1)) on N2O and CH4 fluxes in a long-term field experiment. Soil N2O emissions, measured over 2 years using static chambers, decreased with species richness unless fertilizer was added. N2O emissions increased with fertilization and the fraction of legumes in plant communities. Soil CH4 uptake, a process driven by methanotrophic bacteria, decreased with plant species numbers, irrespective of fertilization. Using structural equation models, we related trace gas fluxes to soil moisture, soil inorganic N concentrations, nitrifying and denitrifying enzyme activity, and the abundance of ammonia oxidizers, nitrite oxidizers, and denitrifiers (quantified by real-time PCR of gene fragments amplified from microbial DNA in soil). These analyses indicated that plant species richness increased soil moisture, which in turn increased N cycling-related activities. Enhanced N cycling increased N2O emission and soil CH4 uptake, with the latter possibly caused by removal of inhibitory ammonium by nitrification. The moisture-related indirect effects were surpassed by direct, moisture-independent effects opposite in direction. Microbial gene abundances responded positively to fertilizer but not to plant species richness. The response patterns we found were statistically robust and highlight the potential of plant biodiversity to interact with climatic change through mechanisms unrelated to carbon storage and associated carbon dioxide removal. PMID:27038993

  20. Study of Plant Cell Wall Polymers Affected by Metal Accumulation Using Stimulated Raman Scattering Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, Shi-You

    2015-03-02

    This project aims to employ newly-developed chemical imaging techniques to measure, in real-time, the concentration, dynamics and spatial distribution of plant cell wall polymers during biomass growth with inoculation of transgenic symbiotic fungi, and to explore a new pathway of delivering detoxified metal to plant apoplast using transgenic symbiotic fungi, which will enhance metal accumulation from soil, and potentially these metals may in turn be used as catalysts to improve the efficiency of biomass conversion to biofuels. The proposed new pathway of biomass production will: 1) benefit metal and radionuclide contaminant mobility in subsurface environments, and 2) potentially improve biomass production and process for bioenergy

  1. Effects of tannin-rich host plants on the infection and establishment of the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora.

    PubMed

    Glazer, Itamar; Salame, Liora; Dvash, Levana; Muklada, Hussein; Azaizeh, Hassan; Mreny, Raghda; Markovics, Alex; Landau, SergeYan

    2015-06-01

    Parasitized animals can self-medicate. As ingested plant phenolics, mainly tannins, reduce strongyle nematode infections in mammalian herbivores. We investigated the effect of plant extracts known to be anthelmintic in vertebrate herbivores on the recovery of the parasitic entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora infecting African cotton leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis). Nematode infective juveniles (IJs) were exposed to 0, 300, 900, 1200, 2400 ppm of Pistacia lentiscus L. (lentisk), Inula viscosa L. (strong-smelling inula), Quercus calliprinos Decne. (common oak) and Ceratonia siliqua L. (carob) extracts on growth medium (in vitro assay). In control treatments, 50-80% of IJs resumed development to J4, young and developed adult hermaphrodites, whereas all extracts, except for C. siliqua at 300 ppm, impaired IJ exsheathment and development. The highest concentration of I. viscosa extract (2400 ppm) had the strongest effect, killing 95% of exposed nematodes. Surviving nematodes did not recover, remaining at the IJ stage. Over the whole cycle, I. viscosa extract inhibited recovery to 25% or less, and did not allow full development to adulthood, whereas 65% of IJs in the control treatment recovered and resumed development, 12% reaching complete maturation within 72 h of incubation. When herbivorous S. littoralis larvae were fed with different plant extracts in vivo, I. viscosa had the strongest effect at concentrations above 300 ppm, with 90% of insect-invading IJs not developing to parasitic stages, whereas in the control treatment, 85% of IJs resumed development. Exposure to C. siliqua extract also inhibited exsheathment and development of 75% of the IJs. Half of those that resumed development reached full maturation. P. lentiscus and Q. calliprinos extracts also inhibited development of 50% IJs. Our results suggest that H. bacteriophora can be used to study herbal medication against parasites in animals. PMID:25935140

  2. Exogenous NO depletes Cd-induced toxicity by eliminating oxidative damage, re-establishing ATPase activity, and maintaining stress-related hormone equilibrium in white clover plants.

    PubMed

    Liu, S L; Yang, R J; Pan, Y Z; Wang, M H; Zhao, Y; Wu, M X; Hu, J; Zhang, L L; Ma, M D

    2015-11-01

    Various nitric oxide (NO) regulators [including the NO donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP), the NO scavenger 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (cPTIO), the NO-synthase inhibitor N (G)-nitro-L-Arg-methyl ester (L-NAME), and the SNP analogues sodium nitrite/nitrate and sodium ferrocyanide] were investigated to elucidate the role of NO in white clover (Trifolium repens L.) plants after long-term (5 days) exposure to cadmium (Cd). A dose of 100 μM Cd stress significantly restrained plant growth and decreased the concentrations of chlorophyll and NO in vivo, whereas it disrupted the balance of stress-related hormones and enhanced the accumulation of Cd, thereby inducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst. However, the inhibition of plant growth was relieved by 50 μM SNP through its stimulation of ROS-scavenging compounds (ascorbic acid, ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, glutathione reductase, non-protein thiol, superoxide dismutase, and total glutathione), regulation of H(+)-ATPase activity of proton pumps, and increasing jasmonic acid and proline but decreasing ethylene in plant tissues. Even so, the alleviating effect of SNP on plant growth was counteracted by cPTIO and L-NAME and was not observed with SNP analogues, suggesting that the protective roles of SNP are related to the induction of NO. These results suggest that NO may improve the Cd tolerance of white clover plants by eliminating oxidative damage, re-establishing ATPase activity, and maintaining hormone equilibrium. Improving our understanding of the role of NO in white clover plants is key to expanding the plantations to various regions and the recovery of pasture species in the future.

  3. Assessment of Habitat Suitability Is Affected by Plant-Soil Feedback: Comparison of Field and Garden Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Hemrová, Lucie; Knappová, Jana; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Background Field translocation experiments (i.e., the introduction of seeds or seedlings of different species into different localities) are commonly used to study habitat associations of species, as well as factors limiting species distributions and local abundances. Species planted or sown in sites where they naturally occur are expected to perform better or equally well compared to sites at which they do not occur or are rare. This, however, contrasts with the predictions of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and commonly reported intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback. The few previous studies indicating poorer performance of plants at sites where they naturally occur did not explore the mechanisms behind this pattern. Aims and Methods In this study, we used field translocation experiments established using both seeds and seedlings to study the determinants of local abundance of four dominant species in grasslands. To explore the possible effects of intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback on our results, we tested the effect of local species abundance on the performance of the plants in the field experiment. In addition, we set up a garden experiment to explore the intensity of intraspecific as well as interspecific feedback between the dominants used in the experiment. Key Results In some cases, the distribution and local abundances of the species were partly driven by habitat conditions at the sites, and species performed better at their own sites. However, the prevailing pattern was that the local dominants performed worse at sites where they naturally occur than at any other sites. Moreover, the success of plants in the field experiment was lower in the case of higher intraspecific abundance prior to experimental setup. In the garden feedback experiment, two of the species performed significantly worse in soils conditioned by their species than in soils conditioned by the other species. In addition, the performance of the plants was significantly

  4. Overexpression of the CC-type glutaredoxin, OsGRX6 affects hormone and nitrogen status in rice plants

    PubMed Central

    El-Kereamy, Ashraf; Bi, Yong-Mei; Mahmood, Kashif; Ranathunge, Kosala; Yaish, Mahmoud W.; Nambara, Eiji; Rothstein, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Glutaredoxins (GRXs) are small glutathione dependent oxidoreductases that belong to the Thioredoxin (TRX) superfamily and catalyze the reduction of disulfide bonds of their substrate proteins. Plant GRXs include three different groups based on the motif sequence, namely CPYC, CGFS, and CC-type proteins. The rice CC-type proteins, OsGRX6 was identified during the screening for genes whose expression changes depending on the level of available nitrate. Overexpression of OsGRX6 in rice displayed a semi-dwarf phenotype. The OsGRX6 overexpressors contain a higher nitrogen content than the wild type, indicating that OsGRX6 plays a role in homeostatic regulation of nitrogen use. Consistent with this, OsGRX6 overexpressors displayed delayed chlorophyll degradation and senescence compared to the wild type plants. To examine if the growth defect of these transgenic lines attribute to disturbed plant hormone actions, plant hormone levels were measured. The levels of two cytokinins (CKs), 2-isopentenyladenine and trans-zeatin, and gibberellin A1 (GA1) were increased in these lines. We also found that these transgenic lines were less sensitive to exogenously applied GA, suggesting that the increase in GA1 is a result of the feedback regulation. These data suggest that OsGRX6 affects hormone signaling and nitrogen status in rice plants. PMID:26579177

  5. Factors affecting xylene-contaminated air removal by the ornamental plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia.

    PubMed

    Sriprapat, Wararat; Boraphech, Phattara; Thiravetyan, Paitip

    2014-02-01

    Fifteen plant species-Alternanthera bettzickiana, Drimiopsis botryoides, Aloe vera, Chlorophytum comosum, Aglaonema commutatum, Cordyline fruticosa, Philodendron martianum, Sansevieria hyacinthoides, Aglaonema rotundum, Fittonia albivenis, Muehlenbeckia platyclada, Tradescantia spathacea, Guzmania lingulata, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, and Cyperus alternifolius-were evaluated for the removal efficiency of xylene from contaminated air. Among the test plants, Z. zamiifolia showed the highest xylene removal efficiency. Xylene was toxic to Z. zamiifolia with an LC50 of 3,464 ppm. Higher concentrations of xylene exhibited damage symptoms, including leaf tips turning yellow, holonecrosis, and hydrosis. TEM images showed that a low concentration of xylene vapors caused minor changes in the chloroplast, while a high concentration caused swollen chloroplasts and damage. The effect of photosynthetic types on xylene removal efficiency suggests that a mixture of Z. zamiifolia, S. hyacinthoides, and A. commutatum which represent facultative CAM, CAM, and C3 plants, is the most suitable system for xylene removal. Therefore, for maximum improvement in removing xylene volatile compounds under various conditions, multiple species are needed. The effect of a plant's total leaf area on xylene removal indicates that at lower concentrations of xylene, a small leaf area might be as efficient as a large leaf area.

  6. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R; Murdock, Larry L

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant-insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology. PMID:27594789

  7. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders.

  8. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders. PMID:27069615

  9. Drying and storage methods affect cyfluthrin concentrations in exposed plant samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Standard procedures exist for collection and chemical analyses of pyrethroid insecticides in environmental matrices. However, less detail is given for drying and potential storage methods of plant samples prior to analyses. Due to equipment and financial limitations, immediate sample analysis is n...

  10. Factors affecting xylene-contaminated air removal by the ornamental plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia.

    PubMed

    Sriprapat, Wararat; Boraphech, Phattara; Thiravetyan, Paitip

    2014-02-01

    Fifteen plant species-Alternanthera bettzickiana, Drimiopsis botryoides, Aloe vera, Chlorophytum comosum, Aglaonema commutatum, Cordyline fruticosa, Philodendron martianum, Sansevieria hyacinthoides, Aglaonema rotundum, Fittonia albivenis, Muehlenbeckia platyclada, Tradescantia spathacea, Guzmania lingulata, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, and Cyperus alternifolius-were evaluated for the removal efficiency of xylene from contaminated air. Among the test plants, Z. zamiifolia showed the highest xylene removal efficiency. Xylene was toxic to Z. zamiifolia with an LC50 of 3,464 ppm. Higher concentrations of xylene exhibited damage symptoms, including leaf tips turning yellow, holonecrosis, and hydrosis. TEM images showed that a low concentration of xylene vapors caused minor changes in the chloroplast, while a high concentration caused swollen chloroplasts and damage. The effect of photosynthetic types on xylene removal efficiency suggests that a mixture of Z. zamiifolia, S. hyacinthoides, and A. commutatum which represent facultative CAM, CAM, and C3 plants, is the most suitable system for xylene removal. Therefore, for maximum improvement in removing xylene volatile compounds under various conditions, multiple species are needed. The effect of a plant's total leaf area on xylene removal indicates that at lower concentrations of xylene, a small leaf area might be as efficient as a large leaf area. PMID:24091527

  11. Will global warming affect soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides?

    PubMed

    Dowdall, M; Standring, W; Shaw, G; Strand, P

    2008-11-01

    Recent assessments of global climate/environmental change are reaching a consensus that global climate change is occurring but there is significant uncertainty over the likely magnitude of this change and its impacts. There is little doubt that all aspects of the natural environment will be impacted to some degree. Soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides has long been a significant topic in radioecology, both for the protection of humans and the environment from the effects of ionising radiation. Even after five decades of research considerable uncertainty exists as to the interplay of key environmental processes in controlling soil-plant transfer. As many of these processes are, to a lesser or greater extent, climate-dependent, it can be argued that climate/environmental change will impact soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides and subsequent transfers in specific environments. This discussion attempts to highlight the possible role of climatic and climate-dependent variables in soil-to-plant transfer processes within the overall predictions of climate/environmental change. The work is speculative, and intended to stimulate debate on a theme that radioecology has either ignored or avoided in recent years.

  12. Mercury Concentrations in Plant Tissues as Affected by FGDG Application to Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum (FGDG) is produced by reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from themo-electric coal-fired power plants. The most common practice of FGDG production may trap some of the Mercury (Hg) present in the coal that normally would escape as vapor in the stack gases. Concern for t...

  13. Molecular analyses of nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions affecting plant growth and yield. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Newton, K.J.

    1998-11-01

    Mitochondria have a central role in the production of cellular energy. The biogenesis and functioning of mitochondria depends on the expression of both mitochondrial and nuclear genes. One approach to investigating the role of nuclear-mitochondrial cooperation in plant growth and development is to identify combinations of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes that result in altered but sublethal phenotypes. Plants that have certain maize nuclear genotypes in combination with cytoplasmic genomes from more distantly-related teosintes can exhibit incompatible phenotypes, such as reduced plant growth and yield and cytoplasmic male sterility, as well as altered mitochondrial gene expression. The characterization of these nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions was the focus of this grant. The authors were investigating the effects of two maize nuclear genes, RcmI and Mct, on mitochondrial function and gene expression. Plants with the teosinte cytoplasms and homozygous for the recessive rcm allele are small (miniature) and-slow-growing and the kernels are reduced in size. The authors mapped this locus to molecular markers on chromosome 7 and attempted to clone this locus by transposon tagging. The effects of the nuclear-cytoplasmic interaction on mitochondrial function and mitochondrial protein profiles were also studied.

  14. Chlorophyllase 1, a Damage Control Enzyme, Affects the Balance between Defense Pathways in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Kariola, Tarja; Brader, Günter; Li, Jing; Palva, E. Tapio

    2005-01-01

    Accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is central to plant response to several pathogens. One of the sources of ROS is the chloroplast because of the photoactive nature of the chlorophylls. Chlorophyllase 1 (encoded by AtCLH1) of Arabidopsis thaliana is quickly induced after tissue damage (e.g., caused by the bacterial necrotroph Erwinia carotovora or the necrotrophic fungus Alternaria brassicicola). RNA interference silencing of AtCLH1 resulted in failure to degrade free chlorophyll after tissue damage and in resistance to E. carotovora. Both inoculation with E. carotovora and exposure to high light caused elevated accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in AtCLH1 silenced plants. This was accompanied by expression of marker genes for systemic acquired resistance and induction of antioxidant defenses. Interestingly, downregulation of AtCLH1 resulted in increased susceptibility to A. brassicicola, resistance to which requires jasmonate signaling. We propose that AtCLH1 is involved in plant damage control and can modulate the balance between different plant defense pathways. PMID:15598807

  15. Differential Response in Plant Taxa Morphology and Physiology During Increases in Late-Quaternary Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Affect Plant-Climate Interactions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Water, P. K.; Barnum, E.

    2004-12-01

    The effects of changing atmospheric CO2 on plant physiology mediate vegetation response to climate change. For example, growth chamber studies on short-lived plants show significant changes in plant morphology and physiological parameters such as changes in biomass and water-use efficiency (WUE; the amount of carbon assimilated to plant water-loss) as atmospheric CO2 concentrations increases from ˜200 p.p.m. to modern concentrations and beyond. Many modern studies show WUE increases linearly with rising atmospheric CO2 meaning that less water is expended for each unit of carbon assimilated. To test for the consistency of these findings with past, long-lived plants and in past communities growing under a similar range of atmospheric CO2 levels, macrofossils of select species were analyzed from packrat (Neotoma sp.) midden chronologies gathered throughout western North America. Measurement of and analysis for the stable isotope content of these macrofossils shows greater morphological and eco-physiological differences between species than expected from study results using growth chambers. For example, isotopic analysis shows long-standing associates, Pinus edulis and Juniperus spp. have significantly different WUE during the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene. The WUE in Pinus edulis matches changes in atmospheric CO2 whereas Juniperus spp. does not. Yet over the same period, changes observed in Pinus flexilis needles from trees growing in cooler habitats above the pinyon-juniper woodlands are more similar to Juniperus spp. changes compared against trends in the more closely related Pinus edulis. Morphology changes occurring during this period include increased biomass and reduced stomata. These results show taxonomic differences in the morphological and physiological adaptation to changing CO2 concentrations. These responses need further assessment especially in light of their direct affect on plant-climate interactions.

  16. The town Crepis and the country Crepis: How does fragmentation affect a plant-pollinator interaction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrieu, Emilie; Dornier, Antoine; Rouifed, Soraya; Schatz, Bertrand; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2009-01-01

    In fragmented habitats, one cause of the decrease of plant diversity and abundance is the disruption of plant-animal interactions, and in particular plant-pollinator interactions. Since habitat fragmentation acts both on pollinator behaviour and plant reproduction, its consequences for the stability of such interactions are complex. An extreme case of habitat fragmentation occurs in urbanised areas where suitable habitat (in the present study small patches around ornamental trees) is embedded in a highly unsuitable environment (concrete matrix). Based on simple experiments, we ask whether pollinators can adapt their foraging behaviour in response to the amount of available resources (flowers) in the fragments and their isolation, as predicted by the optimal foraging theory. To do so we analysed the effect of fragmentation on the behaviour of pollinators visiting Crepis sancta (L.) Bornm. (Asteraceae), which forms large populations in the countryside and patchy populations in urban environments. More precisely we studied pollinator visitation rates, capitulum visit durations, capitulum search durations and capitulum size choice. Pollinators chose larger capitula in both types of populations and their foraging behaviour differed between the two population types in three ways: (1) pollinator visits were lower in urban fragmented populations, perhaps due to the lower accessibility of urban patches; (2) capitulum visit durations were longer in urban fragmented populations, a possible compensation of energy lost during flights among patches; and (3) capitulum search durations where longer in urban fragmented populations, which may represent an increase in capitulum prospecting effort. We discuss the possible impacts of such differences for plant population functioning in the two types of populations.

  17. Trichobaris weevils distinguish amongst toxic host plants by sensing volatiles that do not affect larval performance.

    PubMed

    Lee, Gisuk; Joo, Youngsung; Diezel, Celia; Lee, Eun Ju; Baldwin, Ian T; Kim, Sang-Gyu

    2016-07-01

    Herbivorous insects use plant metabolites to inform their host plant selection for oviposition. These host-selection behaviours are often consistent with the preference-performance hypothesis; females oviposit on hosts that maximize the performance of their offspring. However, the metabolites used for these oviposition choices and those responsible for differences in offspring performance remain unknown for ecologically relevant interactions. Here, we examined the host-selection behaviours of two sympatric weevils, the Datura (Trichobaris compacta) and tobacco (T. mucorea) weevils in field and glasshouse experiments with transgenic host plants specifically altered in different components of their secondary metabolism. Adult females of both species strongly preferred to feed on D. wrightii rather than on N. attenuata leaves, but T. mucorea preferred to oviposit on N. attenuata, while T. compacta oviposited only on D. wrightii. These oviposition behaviours increased offspring performance: T. compacta larvae only survived in D. wrightii stems and T. mucorea larvae survived better in N. attenuata than in D. wrightii stems. Choice assays with nicotine-free, JA-impaired, and sesquiterpene-over-produced isogenic N. attenuata plants revealed that although half of the T. compacta larvae survived in nicotine-free N. attenuata lines, nicotine did not influence the oviposition behaviours of both the nicotine-adapted and nicotine-sensitive species. JA-induced sesquiterpene volatiles are key compounds influencing T. mucorea females' oviposition choices, but these sesquiterpenes had no effect on larval performance. We conclude that adult females are able to choose the best host plant for their offspring and use chemicals different from those that influence larval performance to inform their oviposition decisions. PMID:27146082

  18. Atmospheric CO2 level affects plants' carbon use efficiency: insights from a 13C labeling experiment on sunflower stands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Xiaoying; Schäufele, Rudi; Schnyder, Hans

    2015-04-01

    The increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration has been shown to stimulate plant photosynthesis and (to a lesser extent) growth, thereby acting as a possible sink for the additional atmospheric CO2. However, this effect is dependent on the efficiency with which plants convert atmospheric carbon into biomass carbon, since a considerable proportion of assimilated carbon is returned to the atmosphere via plant respiration. As a core parameter for carbon cycling, carbon use efficiency of plants (CUE, the ratio of net primary production to gross primary production) quantifies the proportion of assimilated carbon that is incorporated into plant biomass. CUE has rarely been assessed based on measurements of complete carbon balance, due to methodological difficulties in measuring respiration rate of plants in light. Moreover, foliar respiration is known to be inhibited in light, thus foliar respiration rate is generally lower in light than in dark. However, this phenomenon, termed as inhibition of respiration in light (IRL), has rarely been assessed at the stand-scale and been incorporated into the calculation of CUE. Therefore, how CUE responses to atmospheric CO2 levels is still not clear. We studied CUE of sunflower stands grown at sub-ambient CO2 level (200 μmol mol-1) and elevated CO2 level (1000 μmol mol-1) using mesocosm-scale gas exchange facilities which enabled continuous measurements of 13CO2/12CO2 exchange. Appling steady-state 13C labeling, fluxes of respiration and photosynthesis in light were separated, and tracer kinetic in respiration was analyzed. This study provides the first data on CUE at a mesocosm-level including respiration in light in different CO2 environments. We found that CUE of sunflower was lower at an elevated CO2 level than at a sub-ambient CO2 level; and the ignorance of IRL lead to erroneous estimations of CUE. Variation in CUE at atmospheric CO2 levels was attributed to several mechanisms. In this study, CO2 enrichment i) affected the

  19. Metal-binding hydrogel particles alleviate soil toxicity and facilitate healthy plant establishment of the native metallophyte grass Astrebla lappacea in mine waste rock and tailings.

    PubMed

    Bigot, M; Guterres, J; Rossato, L; Pudmenzky, A; Doley, D; Whittaker, M; Pillai-McGarry, U; Schmidt, S

    2013-03-15

    Soil contaminants are potentially a major threat to human and ecosystem health and sustainable production of food and energy where mineral processing wastes are discharged into the environment. In extreme conditions, metal concentrations in wastes often exceed even the metal tolerance thresholds of metallophytes (metal-tolerant plants) and sites remain barren with high risks of contaminant leaching and dispersion into the environment via erosion. A novel soil amendment based on micron-size thiol functional cross-linked acrylamide polymer hydrogel particles (X3) binds toxic soluble metals irreversibly and significantly reduces their concentrations in the soil solution to below the phytotoxicity thresholds. X3 mixed into the top 50mm of phytotoxic mine waste materials in pots in glasshouse conditions reduced total soluble concentrations of toxic contaminants by 90.3-98.7% in waste rock, and 88.6-96.4% in tailings immediately after application. After 61 days, quality of unamended bottom layer of X3-treated pots was also significantly improved in both wastes. Combination of X3 and metallophytes was more efficient at improving soil solution quality than X3 alone. Addition of X3 to substrates increased substrate water retention and water availability to plants by up to 108% and 98% for waste rock and tailings respectively. Soil quality improvement by X3 allowed successful early establishment of the native metallophyte grass Astrebla lappacea on both wastes where plants failed to establish otherwise. PMID:23416487

  20. Metal-binding hydrogel particles alleviate soil toxicity and facilitate healthy plant establishment of the native metallophyte grass Astrebla lappacea in mine waste rock and tailings.

    PubMed

    Bigot, M; Guterres, J; Rossato, L; Pudmenzky, A; Doley, D; Whittaker, M; Pillai-McGarry, U; Schmidt, S

    2013-03-15

    Soil contaminants are potentially a major threat to human and ecosystem health and sustainable production of food and energy where mineral processing wastes are discharged into the environment. In extreme conditions, metal concentrations in wastes often exceed even the metal tolerance thresholds of metallophytes (metal-tolerant plants) and sites remain barren with high risks of contaminant leaching and dispersion into the environment via erosion. A novel soil amendment based on micron-size thiol functional cross-linked acrylamide polymer hydrogel particles (X3) binds toxic soluble metals irreversibly and significantly reduces their concentrations in the soil solution to below the phytotoxicity thresholds. X3 mixed into the top 50mm of phytotoxic mine waste materials in pots in glasshouse conditions reduced total soluble concentrations of toxic contaminants by 90.3-98.7% in waste rock, and 88.6-96.4% in tailings immediately after application. After 61 days, quality of unamended bottom layer of X3-treated pots was also significantly improved in both wastes. Combination of X3 and metallophytes was more efficient at improving soil solution quality than X3 alone. Addition of X3 to substrates increased substrate water retention and water availability to plants by up to 108% and 98% for waste rock and tailings respectively. Soil quality improvement by X3 allowed successful early establishment of the native metallophyte grass Astrebla lappacea on both wastes where plants failed to establish otherwise.

  1. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precipitation is anticipated to vary greatly under global climate change. However, little is known about the role of precipitation in shaping weed invasion of established grassland ecosystems. Here, we explored how weed invasion was influenced by precipitation and how this pattern was modified by ...

  2. The pleiotropic ABNORMAL FLOWER AND DWARF1 affects plant height, floral development and grain yield in rice

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Deyong; Rao, Yuchun; Wu, Liwen; Xu, Qiankun; Li, Zizhuang; Yu, Haiping; Zhang, Yu; Leng, Yujia; Hu, Jiang; Zhu, Li; Gao, Zhenyu; Dong, Guojun; Zhang, Guangheng; Guo, Longbiao

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Moderate plant height and successful establishment of reproductive organs play pivotal roles in rice grain production. The molecular mechanism that controls the two aspects remains unclear in rice. In the present study, we characterized a rice gene, ABNORMAL FLOWER AND DWARF1 (AFD1) that determined plant height, floral development and grain yield. The afd1 mutant showed variable defects including the dwarfism, long panicle, low seed setting and reduced grain yield. In addition, abnormal floral organs were also observed in the afd1 mutant including slender and thick hulls, and hull‐like lodicules. AFD1 encoded a DUF640 domain protein and was expressed in all tested tissues and organs. Subcellular localization showed AFD1‐green fluorescent fusion protein (GFP) was localized in the nucleus. Meantime, our results suggested that AFD1 regulated the expression of cell division and expansion related genes. PMID:26486996

  3. Water temperature differences by plant community and location in re-established wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, July 2005 to February 2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crepeau, Kathryn L.; Miller, Robin L.

    2014-01-01

    Rates of carbon storage in wetlands are determined by the balance of its inputs and losses, both of which are affected by environmental factors such as water temperature and depth. In the autumn of 1997, the U.S. Geological Survey re-established two wetlands with different shallow water depths—about 25 and 55 centimeters deep—to investigate the potential to reverse subsidence of delta islands by preserving and accumulating organic substrates derived from plant biomass inputs over time. Because cooler water temperatures can slow decomposition rates and increase accretion of plant biomass, water temperature was recorded from July 2005 to February 2008 in the deeper of the two wetlands, where areas of emergent and submerged vegetation persisted throughout the study, to assess differences in water temperature between the two vegetation types. Water temperature was compared at three depths in the water column between areas of emergent and submerged vegetation and between areas near the water inflow and in the wetland interior in both vegetation types. The latter comparison was a way of evaluating the effect of the length of time water had resided in the wetland on water temperatures. There were statistically significant differences in water temperature at all depths between the two vegetation types. Overall, in areas of emergent marsh vegetation, the mean water temperature at the surface was 1.4 degrees Celsius (°C) less than it was in areas of submerged vegetation; however, when analyses accounted for the changes in temperature due to seasonal and diurnal cycles, differences in the mean water temperature between the vegetation types were even greater than this. For example, in the spring, the mean temperatures in areas of emergent marsh vegetation at the surface, mid-point, and near the sediment in the water column were 2.0, 2.3, and 2.1 °C less, respectively, than water temperatures in areas of submerged vegetation. When diurnal changes in temperature were

  4. Establishing operations

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Jack

    1993-01-01

    The first two books on behavior analysis (Skinner, 1938; Keller & Schoenfeld, 1950) had chapter-length coverage of motivation. The next generation of texts also had chapters on the topic, but by the late 1960s it was no longer being given much treatment in the behavior-analytic literature. The present failure to deal with the topic leaves a gap in our understanding of operant functional relations. A partial solution is to reintroduce the concept of the establishing operation, defined as an environmental event, operation, or stimulus condition that affects an organism by momentarily altering (a) the reinforcing effectiveness of other events and (b) the frequency of occurrence of that part of the organism's repertoire relevant to those events as consequences. Discriminative and motivative variables can be distinguished as follows: The former are related to the differential availability of an effective form of reinforcement given a particular type of behavior; the latter are related to the differential reinforcing effectiveness of environmental events. An important distinction can also be made between unconditioned establishing operations (UEOs), such as food deprivation and painful stimulation, and conditioned establishing operations (CEOs) that depend on the learning history of the organism. One type of CEO is a stimulus that has simply been paired with a UEO and as a result may take on some of the motivative properties of that UEO. The warning stimulus in avoidance procedures is another important type of CEO referred to as reflexive because it establishes its own termination as a form of reinforcement and evokes the behavior that has accomplished such termination. Another CEO is closely related to the concept of conditional conditioned reinforcement and is referred to as a transitive CEO, because it establishes some other stimulus as a form of effective reinforcement and evokes the behavior that has produced that other stimulus. The multiple control of human

  5. Salinity and light interactively affect neotropical mangrove seedlings at the leaf and whole plant levels.

    PubMed

    López-Hoffman, Laura; Anten, Niels P R; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Ackerly, David D

    2007-01-01

    We have studied the interactive effects of salinity and light on Avicennia germinans mangrove seedlings in greenhouse and field experiments. We hypothesized that net photosynthesis, growth, and survivorship rates should increase more with an increase in light availability for plants growing at low salinity than for those growing at high salinity. This hypothesis was supported by our results for net photosynthesis and growth. Net daily photosynthesis did increase more with increasing light for low-salinity plants than for high-salinity plants. Stomatal conductance, leaf-level transpiration, and internal CO(2) concentrations were lower at high than at low salinity. At high light, the ratio of leaf respiration to assimilation was 2.5 times greater at high than at low salinity. Stomatal limitations and increased respiratory costs may explain why, at high salinity, seedlings did not respond to increased light availability with increased net photosynthesis. Seedling mass and growth rates increased more with increasing light availability at low than at high salinity. Ratios of root mass to leaf mass were higher at high salinity, suggesting that either water or nutrient limitations may have limited seedling growth at high salinity in response to increasing light. The interactive effects of salinity and light on seedling size and growth rates observed in the greenhouse were robust in the field, despite the presence of other factors in the field--such as inundation, nutrient gradients, and herbivory. In the field, seedling survivorship was higher at low than at high salinity and increased with light availability. Interestingly, the positive effect of light on seedling survivorship was stronger at high salinity, indicating that growth and survivorship rates are decoupled. In general, this study demonstrates that environmental effects at the leaf-level also influence whole plant growth in mangroves.

  6. Site-specific success of three transplanting methods and the effect of planting time on the establishment of Zostera marina transplants.

    PubMed

    Park, Jung-Im; Lee, Kun-Seop

    2007-08-01

    Eelgrass, Zostera marina, is the most abundant seagrass species on the coast of Korea, but most large eelgrass meadows have disappeared since the 1970s due to human-induced disturbance. To restore disturbed seagrass habitats in die-off areas, seagrass transplanting has been attempted using various methods. Here, we assessed the feasibility and efficiency of seagrass transplanting methods depending on the sediment type at the planting site. Additionally, the effect of planting time on the establishment of transplant was examined to determine the optimal season for planting. We conducted an eelgrass transplanting experiment from fall 2003 to summer 2004 at three sites with different sediment types using three planting techniques. The staple method resulted in the highest transplant survival rate (77.1-93.8%) at all three sites, but was labor intensive. Transplanting Eelgrass Remotely with Frame Systems (TERFS) method also resulted in relatively a high survival rate (58.7-69.0%) at all sites. The shell method is a newer eelgrass transplanting method in which oyster shells are used as an anchoring device, and does not require SCUBA diving for subtidal transplanting. The shell method resulted in high survival rates in muddy (81.3%) and silty sediments (76.5%), but remarkably low survival rate in sandy sediments (5.0%). The TERFS, and shell methods reduced underwater labor; thus, these methods is suitable for large-scale seagrass restoration. Eelgrass transplants planted in summer had exhibited significant mortality due to high summer water temperatures. Although transplants planted in fall to spring had relatively high survival rates, transplanting and collection of vegetative shoots are difficult in winter and spring. Therefore, fall was suggested as the most effective transplanting season off the coast of Korea.

  7. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    PubMed

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; Gross, Stephen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Woyke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Visel, Axel; Partida-Martinez, Laila P; Tringe, Susannah G

    2016-01-01

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves, through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions.

  8. Comparison of Soybean Transformation Efficiency and Plant Factors Affecting Transformation during the Agrobacterium Infection Process

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Yuying; Yao, Xingdong; Zhao, Mingzhe; Zhao, Qiang; Du, Yanli; Yu, Cuimei; Xie, Futi

    2015-01-01

    The susceptibility of soybean genotype to Agrobacterium infection is a key factor for the high level of genetic transformation efficiency. The objective of this study is to evaluate the plant factors related to transformation in cotyledonary nodes during the Agrobacterium infection process. This study selected three genotypes (Williams 82, Shennong 9 and Bert) with high transformation efficiency, which presented better susceptibility to Agrobacterium infection, and three low transformation efficiency genotypes (General, Liaodou 16 and Kottman), which showed a relatively weak susceptibility. Gibberellin (GA) levels and soybean GA20ox2 and CYP707A2 transcripts of high-efficiency genotypes increased and were higher than those of low-efficiency genotypes; however, the opposite performance was shown in abscisic acid (ABA). Higher zeatin riboside (ZR) content and DNA quantity, and relatively higher expression of soybean IPT5, CYCD3 and CYCA3 were obtained in high-efficiency genotypes. High-efficiency genotypes had low methyl jasmonate (MeJA) content, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) activity, and relatively lower expression of soybean OPR3, PPO1 and PRX71. GA and ZR were positive plant factors for Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation by facilitating germination and growth, and increasing the number of cells in DNA synthesis cycle, respectively; MeJA, PPO, POD and ABA were negative plant factors by inducing defence reactions and repressing germination and growth, respectively. PMID:26262617

  9. Storage behavior of mango as affected by post harvest application of plant extracts and storage conditions.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Nisha; Jain, S K

    2014-10-01

    The use of plant extracts could be a useful alternative to synthetic fungicides in the post harvest handling of fruits and vegetables. The aim of this study was to access the efficacy of extracts obtained from four plants (neem, Pongamia, custard apple leaf and marigold flowers) on the extension of shelf life of mango fruits cv. Dashehri under two storage conditions (Cool store and ambient condition). The fruits were treated with 2 concentrations of each plant extracts (10 % and 20 %) were placed in perforated linear low density poly ethylene bags and stored in storage conditions viz., cool storage and ambient condition, respectively. The treatment of neem leaf extract in combination with cool storage gave encouraging results. Up to the end of the storage study the treatment combination of 20 % neem leaf extract and cool store completely inhibited the pathogens, and no spoilage was observed. There was minimum physiological loss in weight (6.24 %), minimum girth reduction (0.62 %), maximum ascorbic acid content (29.96 mg/ 100 g of pulp), maximum acidity (0.19 %), minimum pH (5.28), maximum total soluble solids (20.96 %), maximum total sugars (12.50 %), reducing sugars (4.12 %) and non- reducing sugars (7.96 %) and best organoleptic score (7.93/10) in this interaction. The inhibitory effect of neem leaf extract was ascribed to the presence of active principle azadirachtin. PMID:25328189

  10. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus

    PubMed Central

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Murdock, Larry L.

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant–insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology. PMID:27594789

  11. Spatial heterogeneity in light supply affects intraspecific competition of a stoloniferous clonal plant.

    PubMed

    Wang, Pu; Lei, Jing-Pin; Li, Mai-He; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2012-01-01

    Spatial heterogeneity in light supply is common in nature. Many studies have examined the effects of heterogeneous light supply on growth, morphology, physiology and biomass allocation of clonal plants, but few have tested those effects on intraspecific competition. In a greenhouse experiment, we grew one (no competition) or nine ramets (with intraspecific competition) of a stoloniferous clonal plant, Duchesnea indica, in three homogeneous light conditions (high, medium and low light intensity) and two heterogeneous ones differing in patch size (large and small patch treatments). The total light in the two heterogeneous treatments was the same as that in the homogeneous medium light treatment. Both decreasing light intensity and intraspecific competition significantly decreased the growth (biomass, number of ramets and total stolon length) of D. indica. As compared with the homogeneous medium light treatment, the large patch treatment significantly increased the growth of D. indica without intraspecific competition. However, the growth of D. indica with competition did not differ among the homogeneous medium light, the large and the small patch treatments. Consequently, light heterogeneity significantly increased intraspecific competition intensity, as measured by the decreased log response ratio. These results suggest that spatial heterogeneity in light supply can alter intraspecific interactions of clonal plants.

  12. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    PubMed

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; Gross, Stephen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Woyke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Visel, Axel; Partida-Martinez, Laila P; Tringe, Susannah G

    2016-01-01

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves, through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions. PMID:26467257

  13. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus

    PubMed Central

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Murdock, Larry L.

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant–insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology.

  14. Comparison of Soybean Transformation Efficiency and Plant Factors Affecting Transformation during the Agrobacterium Infection Process.

    PubMed

    Jia, Yuying; Yao, Xingdong; Zhao, Mingzhe; Zhao, Qiang; Du, Yanli; Yu, Cuimei; Xie, Futi

    2015-08-07

    The susceptibility of soybean genotype to Agrobacterium infection is a key factor for the high level of genetic transformation efficiency. The objective of this study is to evaluate the plant factors related to transformation in cotyledonary nodes during the Agrobacterium infection process. This study selected three genotypes (Williams 82, Shennong 9 and Bert) with high transformation efficiency, which presented better susceptibility to Agrobacterium infection, and three low transformation efficiency genotypes (General, Liaodou 16 and Kottman), which showed a relatively weak susceptibility. Gibberellin (GA) levels and soybean GA20ox2 and CYP707A2 transcripts of high-efficiency genotypes increased and were higher than those of low-efficiency genotypes; however, the opposite performance was shown in abscisic acid (ABA). Higher zeatin riboside (ZR) content and DNA quantity, and relatively higher expression of soybean IPT5, CYCD3 and CYCA3 were obtained in high-efficiency genotypes. High-efficiency genotypes had low methyl jasmonate (MeJA) content, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) activity, and relatively lower expression of soybean OPR3, PPO1 and PRX71. GA and ZR were positive plant factors for Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation by facilitating germination and growth, and increasing the number of cells in DNA synthesis cycle, respectively; MeJA, PPO, POD and ABA were negative plant factors by inducing defence reactions and repressing germination and growth, respectively.

  15. Use of on-site mycorrhizal inoculum for plant establishment on abandoned mined lands. Final report, 31 May 1988-31 March 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Helm, D.J.; Carling, D.E.

    1990-04-27

    Natural vegetation succession on abandoned coal-mined lands does not provide sufficient plant cover to control soil erosion in the short term. Soil inoculum of mycorrhizal fungi from an adjacent undisturbed area was used to inoculate balsam poplar cuttings and alder seedlings to improve plant growth. Soil inoculum contains the species of mycorrhizal fungi indigenous to the area as well as other beneficial organisms. An initial survey of mycorrhizal fungi in soils was conducted to determine the existing levels of mycorrhizal infection on native and disturbed soils. Four experiments were implemented to determine (1) fertilizer and mycorrhizal effects, (2) effects of successional stage of inoculum source, (3) effects of nitrogen sources in conjunction with mycorrhizae, and (4) the combinations of microsites, fertilizer, and mycorrhizae needed to establish vegetation on a steep slope. Soil-borne inoculum improved the growth of balsam poplar cuttings and alder seedlings over the 2-yr period.

  16. Contamination of soil, medicinal, and fodder plants with lead and cadmium present in mine-affected areas, Northern Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Qamar, Zahir; Din, Islamud; Mahmood, Qaisar; Gul, Nayab; Huang, Qing

    2015-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) concentrations in the soil and plants (medicinal and fodder) grown in chromite mining-affected areas, Northern Pakistan. Soil and plant samples were collected and analyzed for Pb and Cd concentrations using atomic absorption spectrometer. Soil pollution load indices (PLIs) were greater than 2 for both Cd and Pb, indicating high level of contamination in the study area. Furthermore, Cd concentrations in the soil surrounding the mining sites exceeded the maximum allowable limit (MAL) (0.6 mg kg(-1)), while the concentrations of Pb were lower than the MAL (350 mg kg(-1)) set by State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) for agriculture soil. The concentrations of Cd and Pb were significantly higher (P < 0.001) in the soil of the mining-contaminated sites as compared to the reference site, which can be attributed to the dispersion of toxic heavy metals, present in the bed rocks and waste of the mines. The concentrations of Pb and Cd in majority of medicinal and fodder plant species grown in surrounding areas of mines were higher than their MALs set by World Health Organization/Food Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO) for herbal (10 and 0.3 mg kg(-1), respectively) and edible (0.3 and 0.2 mg kg(-1), respectively) plants. The high concentrations of Cd and Pb may cause contamination of the food chain and health risk.

  17. A novel role for Arabidopsis CBL1 in affecting plant responses to glucose and gibberellin during germination and seedling development.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhi-Yong; Xu, Zhao-Shi; Chen, Yang; He, Guang-Yuan; Yang, Guang-Xiao; Chen, Ming; Li, Lian-Cheng; Ma, You-Zhi

    2013-01-01

    Glucose and phytohormones such as abscisic acid (ABA), ethylene, and gibberellin (GA) coordinately regulate germination and seedling development. However, there is still inadequate evidence to link their molecular roles in affecting plant responses. Calcium acts as a second messenger in a diverse range of signal transduction pathways. As calcium sensors unique to plants, calcineurin B-like (CBL) proteins are well known to modulate abiotic stress responses. In this study, it was found that CBL1 was induced by glucose in Arabidopsis. Loss-of-function mutant cbl1 exhibited hypersensitivity to glucose and paclobutrazol, a GA biosynthetic inhibitor. Several sugar-responsive and GA biosynthetic gene expressions were altered in the cbl1 mutant. CBL1 protein physically interacted with AKINβ1, the regulatory β subunit of the SnRK1 complex which has a central role in sugar signaling. Our results indicate a novel role for CBL1 in modulating responses to glucose and GA signals.

  18. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  19. Lignin, land plants, and fungi: Biological evolution affecting Phanerozoic oxygen balance

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, J.M. )

    1990-07-01

    As dominance shifted from lycopsids and pteridophytes in the Paleozoic, to gymnosperms in the Mesozoic, to angiosperms in the Tertiary, plant architecture became more sparing in its use of lignin. Lignin-degrading organisms were rare or absent in the Paleozoic, but diverse and abundant in the Tertiary. Thus the terrigenous organic-carbon cycle has quickened over time, the fraction of terrestrial primary production preserved in coals and kerogens has declined, and terrestrial production has been able to increase over time without concomitant rises in atmospheric O{sub 2}.

  20. Initial Assessment of Sulfur-Iodine Process Safety Issues and How They May Affect Pilot Plant Design and Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Robert S. Cherry

    2006-09-01

    The sulfur-iodine process to make hydrogen by the thermochemical splitting of water is under active development as part of a U.S. Department of Energy program. An integrated lab scale system is currently being designed and built. The next planned stage of development is a pilot plant with a thermal input of about 500 kW, equivalent to about 30,000 standard liters per hour of hydrogen production. The sulfur-iodine process contains a variety of hazards, including temperatures up to 850 ºC and hazardous chemical species including SO2, H2SO4, HI, I2, and of course H2. The siting and design of a pilot plant must consider these and other hazards. This report presents an initial analysis of the hazards that might affect pilot plant design and should be considered in the initial planning. The general hazards that have been identified include reactivity, flammability, toxicity, pressure, electrical hazards, and industrial hazards such as lifting and rotating equipment. Personnel exposure to these hazards could occur during normal operations, which includes not only running the process at the design conditions but also initial inventory loading, heatup, startup, shutdown, and system flushing before equipment maintenance. Because of the complexity and severity of the process, these ancillary operations are expected to be performed frequently. In addition, personnel could be exposed to the hazards during various abnormal situations which could include unplanned phase changes of liquids or solids, leaks of process fluids or cooling water into other process streams, unintentional introducion of foreign species into the process, and unexpected side reactions. Design of a pilot plant will also be affected by various codes and regulations such as the International Building Code, the International Fire Code, various National Fire Protection Association Codes, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

  1. Camphene, a Plant Derived Monoterpene, Exerts Its Hypolipidemic Action by Affecting SREBP-1 and MTP Expression

    PubMed Central

    Vallianou, Ioanna; Hadzopoulou-Cladaras, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    The control of hyperlipidemia plays a central role in cardiovascular disease. Previously, we have shown that camphene, a constituent of mastic gum oil, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) in the plasma of hyperlipidemic rats without affecting HMG-CoA reductase activity, suggesting that its hypocholesterolemic and hypotriglyceridemic effects are associated with a mechanism of action different than that of statins. In the present study, we examine the mechanism by which camphene exerts its hypolipidemic action. We evaluated the effect of camphene on the de novo synthesis of cholesterol and TG from [14C]-acetate in HepG2 cells, along with the statin mevinolin. Camphene inhibited the biosynthesis of cholesterol in a concentration-dependent manner, and a maximal inhibition of 39% was observed at 100 μM while mevinolin nearly abolished cholesterol biosynthesis. Moreover, treatment with camphene reduced TG by 34% and increased apolipoprotein AI expression. In contrast, mevinolin increased TG by 26% and had a modest effect on apolipoprotein AI expression. To evaluate the mode of action of camphene, we examined its effects on the expression of SREBP-1, which affects TG biosynthesis and SREBP-2, which mostly affects sterol synthesis. Interestingly, camphene increased the nuclear translocation of the mature form of SREBP-1 while mevinolin was found to increase the amount of the mature form of SREBP-2. The effect of camphene is most likely regulated through SREBP-1 by affecting MTP levels in response to a decrease in the intracellular cholesterol. We propose that camphene upregulates SREBP-1 expression and MTP inhibition is likely to be a probable mechanism whereby camphene exerts its hypolipidemic effect. PMID:26784701

  2. Nature's amazing biopolymer: basic mechanical and hydrological properties of soil affected by plant exudates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Roose, Tiina; Raffan, Annette; George, Timothy; Bengough, Glyn; Brown, Lawrie; Keyes, Sam; Daly, Keith; Hallett, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Plant exudates are known to have a very large impact on soil physical properties through changes in mechanical and hydrological processes driven by long-chain polysaccharides and surface active compounds. Whilst these impacts are well known, the basic physical properties of these exudates have only been reported in a small number of studies. We present data for exudates obtained from barley roots and chia seeds, incorporating treatments examining biological decomposition of the exudates. When these exudates were added to a sandy loam soil, contact angle and drop penetration time increased exponentially with increasing exudate concentration. These wetting properties were strongly correlated with both exudate density and zero-shear viscosity, but not with exudate surface tension. Water holding capacity and water repellency of exudate mixed soil tremendously increased with exudate concentration, however they were significantly reduced on decomposition when measured after 14 days of incubation at 16C. Mechanical stability greatly increased with increasing exudate amendment to soils, which was assessed using a rheological amplitude sweep test near saturation, at -50 cm matric potential (field capacity) using indentation test, and at air-dry condition using the Brazilian test. This reflects that exudates not only attenuate plant water stress but also impart mechanical stability to the rhizosphere. These data are highly relevant to the understanding and modelling of rhizosphere development, which is the next phase of our research.

  3. Interactions between soil habitat and geographic range location affect plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Stanton-Geddes, John; Shaw, Ruth G; Tiffin, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Populations are often found on different habitats at different geographic locations. This habitat shift may be due to biased dispersal, physiological tolerances or biotic interactions. To explore how fitness of the native plant Chamaecrista fasciculata depends on habitat within, at and beyond its range edge, we planted seeds from five populations in two soil substrates at these geographic locations. We found that with reduced competition, lifetime fitness was always greater or equivalent in one habitat type, loam soils, though early-season survival was greater on sand soils. At the range edge, natural populations are typically found on sand soil habitats, which are also less competitive environments. Early-season survival and fitness differed among source populations, and when transplanted beyond the range edge, range edge populations had greater fitness than interior populations. Our results indicate that even when the optimal soil substrate for a species does not change with geographic range location, the realized niche of a species may be restricted to sub-optimal habitats at the range edge because of the combined effects of differences in abiotic and biotic effects (e.g. competitors) between substrates.

  4. Metal contaminated biochar and wood ash negatively affect plant growth and soil quality after land application.

    PubMed

    Jones, D L; Quilliam, R S

    2014-07-15

    Pyrolysis or combustion of waste wood can provide a renewable source of energy and produce byproducts which can be recycled back to land. To be sustainable requires that these byproducts pose minimal threat to the environment or human health. Frequently, reclaimed waste wood is contaminated by preservative-treated timber containing high levels of heavy metals. We investigated the effect of feedstock contamination from copper-preservative treated wood on the behaviour of pyrolysis-derived biochar and combustion-derived ash in plant-soil systems. Biochar and wood ash were applied to soil at typical agronomic rates. The presence of preservative treated timber in the feedstock increased available soil Cu; however, critical Cu guidance limits were only exceeded at high rates of feedstock contamination. Negative effects on plant growth and soil quality were only seen at high levels of biochar contamination (>50% derived from preservative-treated wood). Negative effects of wood ash contamination were apparent at lower levels of contamination (>10% derived from preservative treated wood). Complete removal of preservative treated timber from wood recycling facilities is notoriously difficult and low levels of contamination are commonplace. We conclude that low levels of contamination from Cu-treated wood should pose minimal environmental risk to biochar and ash destined for land application. PMID:24915641

  5. Hydrologic alteration affects aquatic plant assemblages in an arid-land river

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vinson, Mark; Hestmark, Bennett; Barkworth, Mary E.

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the effects of long-term flow alteration on primary-producer assemblages. In 1962, Flaming Gorge Dam was constructed on the Green River. The Yampa River has remained an unregulated hydrologically variable river that joins the Green River 100 km downstream from Flaming Gorge Dam. In the 1960s before dam construction only sparse occurrences of two macroalgae, Cladophora and Chara, and no submerged vascular plants were recorded in the Green and Yampa rivers. In 2009–2010, aquatic plants were abundant and widespread in the Green River from the dam downstream to the confluence with the Yampa River. The assemblage consisted of six vascular species, Elodea canadensis, Myriophyllum sibiricum, Nasturtium officinale,Potamogeton crispus, Potamogeton pectinatus, and Ranunculus aquatilis, the macroalgae Chara and Cladophora, and the bryophyte, Amblystegium riparium. In the Green River downstream from the Yampa River, and in the Yampa River, only sparse patches of Chara and Cladophora growing in the splash zone on boulders were collected. We attribute the observed changes in the Green River to an increase in water transparency and a reduction in suspended and bed-load sediment and high flow disturbances. The lack of hydrophyte colonization downstream from the confluence with the Yampa River has implications for understanding tributary amelioration of dam effects and for designing more natural flow-regime schedules downstream from large dams.

  6. Interactions between Soil Habitat and Geographic Range Location Affect Plant Fitness

    PubMed Central

    Stanton-Geddes, John; Shaw, Ruth G.; Tiffin, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Populations are often found on different habitats at different geographic locations. This habitat shift may be due to biased dispersal, physiological tolerances or biotic interactions. To explore how fitness of the native plant Chamaecrista fasciculata depends on habitat within, at and beyond its range edge, we planted seeds from five populations in two soil substrates at these geographic locations. We found that with reduced competition, lifetime fitness was always greater or equivalent in one habitat type, loam soils, though early-season survival was greater on sand soils. At the range edge, natural populations are typically found on sand soil habitats, which are also less competitive environments. Early-season survival and fitness differed among source populations, and when transplanted beyond the range edge, range edge populations had greater fitness than interior populations. Our results indicate that even when the optimal soil substrate for a species does not change with geographic range location, the realized niche of a species may be restricted to sub-optimal habitats at the range edge because of the combined effects of differences in abiotic and biotic effects (e.g. competitors) between substrates. PMID:22615745

  7. Within plant distribution of Potato Virus Y in hairy nightshade (Solanum sarrachoides): an inoculum source affecting PVY aphid transmission.

    PubMed

    Cervantes, Felix A; Alvarez, Juan M

    2011-08-01

    Potato virus Y (PVY) is vectored by several potato-colonizing and non-colonizing aphid species in a non-persistent manner and has a wide host range. It occurs naturally in several plant families. Myzus persicae and Macrosiphum euphorbiae are the most efficient potato-colonizing aphid vectors of PVY. Rhopalosiphum padi, a cereal aphid that migrates in large numbers through potato fields during the middle of the growing season, does not colonize potato plants but can transmit PVY. Hairy nightshade, Solanum sarrachoides, a prevalent annual solanaceous weed in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the United States, is an alternative host for PVY and a preferred host for M. persicae and M. euphorbiae. Hence, hairy nightshade plants might play an important role as an inoculum source in the epidemiology of PVY. We looked at titre accumulation and distribution of PVY(O), PVY(N:O) and PVY(NTN) in S. sarrachoides and potato after aphid inoculation with M. persicae and studied the transmission of PVY(O) and PVY(NTN), by M. persicae, M. euphorbiae and R. padi from hairy nightshade to potato plants. Virus titre at different positions on the plant was similar in S. sarrachoides and potato plants with strains PVY(O) and PVY(N:O). Titres of PVY(NTN) were similar in S. sarrachoides and potato but differences in titre were observed at different positions within the plant depending on the plant phenology. Percentage transmission of PVY(NTN) by M. persicae and M. euphorbiae was twice as high (46 and 34%, respectively) from hairy nightshade to potato than from potato to potato (20 and 14%). Percentage transmission of PVY(O) by M. persicae and M. euphorbiae was not affected by the inoculum source. No effect of the inoculum source was observed in the transmission of either PVY strain by R. padi. These results show that hairy nightshade may be an equal or better virus reservoir than potato and thus, important in the epidemiology of PVY.

  8. Conjugative transfer of a derivative of the IncP-1α plasmid RP4 and establishment of transconjugants in the indigenous bacterial community of poplar plants

    PubMed Central

    Ulrich, Andreas; Becker, Regina; Ulrich, Kristina; Ewald, Dietrich

    2015-01-01

    The persistence of traits introduced into the indigenous bacterial community of poplar plants was investigated using bioluminescence mediated by the luc gene. Three endophytic bacterial strains provided with the IncP-1α plasmid RP4-Tn-luc were used to inoculate poplar cuttings at different phenological stages. Screening of isolates by bioluminescence and real-time PCR detection of the luc gene revealed stable persistence for at least 10 weeks. Although the inoculated strains became established with a high population density after inoculation at leaf development (April) and senescence (October), the strains were suppressed by the indigenous bacteria at stem elongation (June). Transconjugants could be detected only at this phenological stage. Indigenous bacteria harbouring RP4-Tn-luc became established with densities ranging from 2 × 105 to 9 × 106 CFU g−1 fresh weight 3 and 10 weeks after inoculation. The increased colonization of the cuttings by indigenous bacteria at stem elongation seemed to strongly compete with the introduced strains. Otherwise, the phenological stage of the plants as well as the density of the indigenous recipients could serve as the driver for a more frequent conjugative plasmid transfer. A phylogenetic assignment of transconjugants indicated the transfer of RP4-Tn-luc into six genera of Proteobacteria, mainly Sphingomonas, Stenotrophomonas and Xanthomonas. PMID:26490946

  9. In vitro regeneration and optimization of factors affecting Agrobacterium mediated transformation in Artemisia Pallens, an important medicinal plant.

    PubMed

    Alok, Anshu; Shukla, Vishnu; Pala, Zarna; Kumar, Jitesh; Kudale, Subhash; Desai, Neetin

    2016-04-01

    Artemisia pallens is an important medicinal plant. In-vitro regeneration and multiplication of A. pallens have been established using attached cotyledons. Different growth regulators were considered for regeneration of multiple shoots. An average of 36 shoots per explants were obtained by culturing attached cotyledons on Murashige and Skoog's medium containing 2 mg/L BAP and 0.1 mg/L NAA, after 45 days. The shoots were rooted best on half Murashige and Skoog's medium with respect to media containing 1 mg/L IBA or 1 mg/L NAA. Different parameters such as type of bacterial strains, OD600 of bacterial culture, co-cultivation duration, concentration of acetosyringone and explants type were optimized for transient expression of the reporter gene. Agrobacterium tumefaciens harbouring pCambia1301 plasmid carrying β-glucuronidase as a reporter gene and hygromycin phosphotransferase as plant selectable marker genes were used for genetic transformation of A. pallens. Hygromycin lethality test showed concentration of 15 mg/L were sufficient to inhibit the growth of attached cotyledons and multiple shoot buds of nontransgenics in selection media. Up to 83 % transient transformation was found when attached cotyledons were co-cultivated with Agrobacterium strain AGL1 for 2 days at 22 °C on shoot induction medium. The bacterial growth was eliminated by addition of cefotaxime (200 mg/L) in selection media. T0 transgenic plants were confirmed by GUS histochemical assay and further by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using uidA and hpt gene specific primers. The study is useful in establishing technological improvement in A. pallens by genetic engineering. PMID:27436917

  10. In vitro regeneration and optimization of factors affecting Agrobacterium mediated transformation in Artemisia Pallens, an important medicinal plant.

    PubMed

    Alok, Anshu; Shukla, Vishnu; Pala, Zarna; Kumar, Jitesh; Kudale, Subhash; Desai, Neetin

    2016-04-01

    Artemisia pallens is an important medicinal plant. In-vitro regeneration and multiplication of A. pallens have been established using attached cotyledons. Different growth regulators were considered for regeneration of multiple shoots. An average of 36 shoots per explants were obtained by culturing attached cotyledons on Murashige and Skoog's medium containing 2 mg/L BAP and 0.1 mg/L NAA, after 45 days. The shoots were rooted best on half Murashige and Skoog's medium with respect to media containing 1 mg/L IBA or 1 mg/L NAA. Different parameters such as type of bacterial strains, OD600 of bacterial culture, co-cultivation duration, concentration of acetosyringone and explants type were optimized for transient expression of the reporter gene. Agrobacterium tumefaciens harbouring pCambia1301 plasmid carrying β-glucuronidase as a reporter gene and hygromycin phosphotransferase as plant selectable marker genes were used for genetic transformation of A. pallens. Hygromycin lethality test showed concentration of 15 mg/L were sufficient to inhibit the growth of attached cotyledons and multiple shoot buds of nontransgenics in selection media. Up to 83 % transient transformation was found when attached cotyledons were co-cultivated with Agrobacterium strain AGL1 for 2 days at 22 °C on shoot induction medium. The bacterial growth was eliminated by addition of cefotaxime (200 mg/L) in selection media. T0 transgenic plants were confirmed by GUS histochemical assay and further by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using uidA and hpt gene specific primers. The study is useful in establishing technological improvement in A. pallens by genetic engineering.

  11. Transpiration, water absorption, and internal water balance of cotton plants as affected by light and changes in saturation deficit.

    PubMed

    Ehrler, W L; van Bavel, C H; Nakayama, F S

    1966-01-01

    In controlled environment studies of cotton plants (Gossypium barbadense L.) a light-induced acceleration of transpiration upset the water balance established in the dark because of a lag in water absorption. A plant-water deficit could be generated either by sudden illumination at a given saturation deficit (sd) of the air, or by raising the sd in conjunction with illumination, without different effects.Direct water balance measurements were confirmed in every experiment by beta ray gauge detection of changes in leaf-water content resulting from unequal gain and loss of water by the whole plant.Recovery from the initial loss of turgidity always was faster and more complete at the higher than at the lower values of sd. Recovery occurred even in the light at the higher values of sd, but was enhanced by return to darkness and a lower sd, which at times resulted in superhydration.Rehydration in the light could be attributed to at least 2 processes: A) a diminished transpiration rate if earlier water loss was sufficient to induce stomatal closure, and B) an increased rate of water absorption. The data suggest that a water deficit, temporary or persisting, does not cause a significantly lowered transpiration rate; thus, recovery must depend on increased absorption. The communicative link between the 2 processes appears weak, transmitting strong signals only.

  12. Does insect netting affect the containment of airborne pollen from (GM-) plants in greenhouses?

    PubMed

    van Hengstum, Thomas; Hooftman, Danny A P; den Nijs, Hans C M; van Tienderen, Peter H

    2012-09-01

    Greenhouses are a well-accepted containment strategy to grow and study genetically modified plants (GM) before release into the environment. Various containment levels are requested by national regulations to minimize GM pollen escape. We tested the amount of pollen escaping from a standard greenhouse, which can be used for EU containment classes 1 and 2. More specifically, we investigated the hypothesis whether pollen escape could be minimized by insect-proof netting in front of the roof windows, since the turbulent airflow around the mesh wiring could avoid pollen from escaping. We studied the pollen flow out of greenhouses with and without insect netting of two non-transgenic crops, Ryegrass (Loliummultiflorum) and Corn (Zea Mays). Pollen flow was assessed with Rotorod(®) pollen samplers positioned inside and outside the greenhouse' roof windows. A significant proportion of airborne pollen inside the greenhouse leaves through roof windows. Moreover, the lighter pollen of Lolium escaped more readily than the heavier pollen of Maize. In contrast to our expectations, we did not identify any reduction in pollen flow with insect netting in front of open windows, even under induced airflow conditions. We conclude that insect netting, often present by default in greenhouses, is not effective in preventing pollen escape from greenhouses of wind-pollinated plants for containment classes 1 or 2. Further research would be needed to investigate whether other alternative strategies, including biotic ones, are more effective. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10453-011-9237-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:22798704

  13. Soil moisture and fungi affect seed survival in California grassland annual plants.

    PubMed

    Mordecai, Erin A

    2012-01-01

    Survival of seeds in the seed bank is important for the population dynamics of many plant species, yet the environmental factors that control seed survival at a landscape level remain poorly understood. These factors may include soil moisture, vegetation cover, soil type, and soil pathogens. Because many soil fungi respond to moisture and host species, fungi may mediate environmental drivers of seed survival. Here, I measure patterns of seed survival in California annual grassland plants across 15 species in three experiments. First, I surveyed seed survival for eight species at 18 grasslands and coastal sage scrub sites ranging across coastal and inland Santa Barbara County, California. Species differed in seed survival, and soil moisture and geographic location had the strongest influence on survival. Grasslands had higher survival than coastal sage scrub sites for some species. Second, I used a fungicide addition and exotic grass thatch removal experiment in the field to tease apart the relative impact of fungi, thatch, and their interaction in an invaded grassland. Seed survival was lower in the winter (wet season) than in the summer (dry season), but fungicide improved winter survival. Seed survival varied between species but did not depend on thatch. Third, I manipulated water and fungicide in the laboratory to directly examine the relationship between water, fungi, and survival. Seed survival declined from dry to single watered to continuously watered treatments. Fungicide slightly improved seed survival when seeds were watered once but not continually. Together, these experiments demonstrate an important role of soil moisture, potentially mediated by fungal pathogens, in driving seed survival.

  14. Plant Pathogenic Microbial Communication Affected by Elevated Temperature in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum.

    PubMed

    Saha, N D; Chaudhary, A; Singh, S D; Singh, D; Walia, S; Das, T K

    2015-11-01

    Gram-negative plant pathogenic bacteria regulate specific gene expression in a population density-dependent manner by sensing level of Acyl-Homoserine Lactone (HSL) molecules which they produce and liberate to the environment, called Quorum Sensing (QS). The production of virulence factors (extracellular enzyme viz. cellulase, pectinase, etc.) in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (Pcc) is under strong regulation of QS. The QS signal molecule, N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-L-Homoserine Lactone (OHHL) was found as the central regulatory system for the virulence factor production in Pcc and is also under strict regulation of external environmental temperature. Under seven different incubation temperatures (24, 26, 28, 30, 33, 35, and 37 °C) in laboratory condition, highest amount of OHHL (804 violacein unit) and highest (79 %) Disease Severity Index (DSI) were measured at 33 °C. The OHHL production kinetics showed accumulation of highest concentration of OHHL at late log phase of the growth but diminution in the concentration occurred during stationary phase onwards to death phase. At higher temperature (35 and 37 °C) exposure, OHHL was not at detectable range. The effect of temperature on virulence factor production is the concomitant effect of HSL production and degradation which justifies less disease severity index in cross-inoculated tomato fruits incubated at 35 and 37 °C. The nondetection of the OHHL in the elevated temperature may because of degradation as these signal molecules are quite sensitive and prone to get degraded under different physical factors. This result provides the rationale behind the highest disease severity up to certain elevated temperature and leaves opportunities for investigation on mutation, co-evolution of superior plant pathogen with more stable HSL signals-mediated pathogenesis under global warming context. PMID:26271295

  15. Flower litters of alpine plants affect soil nitrogen and phosphorus rapidly in the eastern Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jinniu; Xu, Bo; Wu, Yan; Gao, Jing; Shi, Fusun

    2016-10-01

    Litters of reproductive organs have rarely been studied despite their role in allocating nutrients for offspring reproduction. This study determines the mechanism through which flower litters efficiently increase the available soil nutrient pool. Field experiments were conducted to collect plant litters and calculate biomass production in an alpine meadow of the eastern Tibetan Plateau. C, N, P, lignin, cellulose content, and their relevant ratios of litters were analyzed to identify their decomposition features. A pot experiment was performed to determine the effects of litter addition on the soil nutrition pool by comparing the treated and control samples. The litter-bag method was used to verify decomposition rates. The flower litters of phanerophyte plants were comparable with non-flower litters. Biomass partitioning of other herbaceous species accounted for 10-40 % of the aboveground biomass. Flower litter possessed significantly higher N and P levels but less C / N, N / P, lignin / N, and lignin and cellulose concentrations than leaf litter. The litter-bag experiment confirmed that the flower litters of Rhododendron przewalskii and Meconopsis integrifolia decompose approximately 3 times faster than mixed litters within 50 days. Pot experiment findings indicated that flower litter addition significantly increased the available nutrient pool and soil microbial productivity. The time of litter fall significantly influenced soil available N and P, and soil microbial biomass. Flower litters fed the soil nutrition pool and influenced nutrition cycling in alpine ecosystems more efficiently because of their non-ignorable production, faster decomposition rate, and higher nutrient contents compared with non-flower litters. The underlying mechanism can enrich nutrients, which return to the soil, and non-structural carbohydrates, which feed and enhance the transitions of soil microorganisms.

  16. Factors That Affect Riverbank Filtrate Water Temperature in Daesan Plants, Changwon, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, J.; Lim, J.; Lee, K.; Jung, W.; Kim, H.

    2008-12-01

    City of Changwon, Korea, has been using some of riverbank filtrate water for the indoor air-conditioning of Daesan purification plants since 2006. In this method, the most important factor to determine efficiency of heating and cooling is the temperature of the filtrate water. Thus, it is required to predict the available range of groundwater temperature in the case of changing pumping rate, pumping location or in the case of long term operation. Numerical simulation of temperature profile of riverbank filtrate water in Daesan plants using HydroGeoSphere shows that the primary factor in determining filtrate water temperature is the pumping rate. Distance from the river to the wells is long enough to equalize subsurface water temperature through its penetration path and all of the well screen sections are located at the depth of 30 m below surface which is part of the local aquifer. This is why the horizontal distance from the river to each well and the installed screen depth are less important than the pumping rate to determine filtrate water temperature in this facility. It also shows that maintaining the facility operation with present pumping rate for the next 30 years will not cause any significant change of water temperature. However, following the new plan of the city to install additional 37 wells with 6 times higher pumping rate than the current rate might cause about 2? decrease in filtrate water temperature in 10 years after the extension. All of these results demonstrate that basic hydrological study such as aquifer heterogeneity or pumping capacity is prerequisite for calculating and predicting extracted water temperature in riverbank filtration system.

  17. Nanosecond electric pulses affect a plant-specific kinesin at the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Kühn, Sebastian; Liu, Qiong; Eing, Christian; Frey, Wolfgang; Nick, Peter

    2013-12-01

    Electric pulses with high field strength and durations in the nanosecond range (nsPEFs) are of considerable interest for biotechnological and medical applications. However, their actual cellular site of action is still under debate--due to their extremely short rise times, nsPEFs are thought to act mainly in the cell interior rather than at the plasma membrane. On the other hand, nsPEFs can induce membrane permeability. We have revisited this issue using plant cells as a model. By mapping the cellular responses to nsPEFs of different field strength and duration in the tobacco BY-2 cell line, we could define a treatment that does not impinge on short-term viability, such that the physiological responses to the treatment can be followed. We observe, for these conditions, a mild disintegration of the cytoskeleton, impaired membrane localization of the PIN1 auxin-efflux transporter and a delayed premitotic nuclear positioning followed by a transient mitotic arrest. To address the target site of nsPEFs, we made use of the plant-specific KCH kinesin, which can assume two different states with different localization (either near the nucleus or at the cell membrane) driving different cellular functions. We show that nsPEFs reduce cell expansion in nontransformed cells but promote expansion in a line overexpressing KCH. Since cell elongation and cell widening are linked to the KCH localized at the cell membrane, the inverted response in the KCH overexpressor provides evidence for a direct action of nsPEFs, also at the cell membrane. PMID:24062185

  18. Soil Moisture and Fungi Affect Seed Survival in California Grassland Annual Plants

    PubMed Central

    Mordecai, Erin A.

    2012-01-01

    Survival of seeds in the seed bank is important for the population dynamics of many plant species, yet the environmental factors that control seed survival at a landscape level remain poorly understood. These factors may include soil moisture, vegetation cover, soil type, and soil pathogens. Because many soil fungi respond to moisture and host species, fungi may mediate environmental drivers of seed survival. Here, I measure patterns of seed survival in California annual grassland plants across 15 species in three experiments. First, I surveyed seed survival for eight species at 18 grasslands and coastal sage scrub sites ranging across coastal and inland Santa Barbara County, California. Species differed in seed survival, and soil moisture and geographic location had the strongest influence on survival. Grasslands had higher survival than coastal sage scrub sites for some species. Second, I used a fungicide addition and exotic grass thatch removal experiment in the field to tease apart the relative impact of fungi, thatch, and their interaction in an invaded grassland. Seed survival was lower in the winter (wet season) than in the summer (dry season), but fungicide improved winter survival. Seed survival varied between species but did not depend on thatch. Third, I manipulated water and fungicide in the laboratory to directly examine the relationship between water, fungi, and survival. Seed survival declined from dry to single watered to continuously watered treatments. Fungicide slightly improved seed survival when seeds were watered once but not continually. Together, these experiments demonstrate an important role of soil moisture, potentially mediated by fungal pathogens, in driving seed survival. PMID:22720037

  19. Distribution of Pseudomonas Species in a Dairy Plant Affected by Occasional Blue Discoloration

    PubMed Central

    Lomonaco, Sara; Nucera, Daniele; Garoglio, Davide; Dalmasso, Alessandra; Civera, Tiziana

    2014-01-01

    During 2010 many cases of discoloration in mozzarella, popularly termed as blue mozzarella, have been reported to the attention of public opinion. Causes of the alteration were bacteria belonging to the genus Pseudomonas. The strong media impact of such cases has created confusion, not only among consumers, but also among experts. In order to help improving the knowledge on microbial ecology of this microorganism a study has been set up with the collaboration of a medium-sized dairy plant producing fresh mozzarella cheese, with occasional blue discoloration, conducting surveys and sampling in the pre-operational, operational and post-operational process phase, milk before and after pasteurization, water (n=12), environmental surfaces (n=22) and the air (n=27). A shelf life test was conducted on finished products stored at different temperatures (4-8°C). Among the isolates obtained from the microbiological analysis of the samples, 60 were subjected to biomolecular tests in order to confirm the belonging to Pseudomonas genus and to get an identification at species level by the amplification and sequencing of the gyrB gene. The results of microbiological tests demonstrated the presence of microorganisms belonging to the genus Pseudomonas along the entire production lane; molecular tests showed 7 different species among the 40 isolates identified. One particular species (Pseudomonas koreensis) was isolated from blue discolored mozzarella cheese and was indicated as the most relevant for the production plant, both for the distribution along the processing chain and for the consequences on the finished product. PMID:27800364

  20. Plant Pathogenic Microbial Communication Affected by Elevated Temperature in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum.

    PubMed

    Saha, N D; Chaudhary, A; Singh, S D; Singh, D; Walia, S; Das, T K

    2015-11-01

    Gram-negative plant pathogenic bacteria regulate specific gene expression in a population density-dependent manner by sensing level of Acyl-Homoserine Lactone (HSL) molecules which they produce and liberate to the environment, called Quorum Sensing (QS). The production of virulence factors (extracellular enzyme viz. cellulase, pectinase, etc.) in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (Pcc) is under strong regulation of QS. The QS signal molecule, N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-L-Homoserine Lactone (OHHL) was found as the central regulatory system for the virulence factor production in Pcc and is also under strict regulation of external environmental temperature. Under seven different incubation temperatures (24, 26, 28, 30, 33, 35, and 37 °C) in laboratory condition, highest amount of OHHL (804 violacein unit) and highest (79 %) Disease Severity Index (DSI) were measured at 33 °C. The OHHL production kinetics showed accumulation of highest concentration of OHHL at late log phase of the growth but diminution in the concentration occurred during stationary phase onwards to death phase. At higher temperature (35 and 37 °C) exposure, OHHL was not at detectable range. The effect of temperature on virulence factor production is the concomitant effect of HSL production and degradation which justifies less disease severity index in cross-inoculated tomato fruits incubated at 35 and 37 °C. The nondetection of the OHHL in the elevated temperature may because of degradation as these signal molecules are quite sensitive and prone to get degraded under different physical factors. This result provides the rationale behind the highest disease severity up to certain elevated temperature and leaves opportunities for investigation on mutation, co-evolution of superior plant pathogen with more stable HSL signals-mediated pathogenesis under global warming context.

  1. Does insect netting affect the containment of airborne pollen from (GM-) plants in greenhouses?

    PubMed

    van Hengstum, Thomas; Hooftman, Danny A P; den Nijs, Hans C M; van Tienderen, Peter H

    2012-09-01

    Greenhouses are a well-accepted containment strategy to grow and study genetically modified plants (GM) before release into the environment. Various containment levels are requested by national regulations to minimize GM pollen escape. We tested the amount of pollen escaping from a standard greenhouse, which can be used for EU containment classes 1 and 2. More specifically, we investigated the hypothesis whether pollen escape could be minimized by insect-proof netting in front of the roof windows, since the turbulent airflow around the mesh wiring could avoid pollen from escaping. We studied the pollen flow out of greenhouses with and without insect netting of two non-transgenic crops, Ryegrass (Loliummultiflorum) and Corn (Zea Mays). Pollen flow was assessed with Rotorod(®) pollen samplers positioned inside and outside the greenhouse' roof windows. A significant proportion of airborne pollen inside the greenhouse leaves through roof windows. Moreover, the lighter pollen of Lolium escaped more readily than the heavier pollen of Maize. In contrast to our expectations, we did not identify any reduction in pollen flow with insect netting in front of open windows, even under induced airflow conditions. We conclude that insect netting, often present by default in greenhouses, is not effective in preventing pollen escape from greenhouses of wind-pollinated plants for containment classes 1 or 2. Further research would be needed to investigate whether other alternative strategies, including biotic ones, are more effective. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10453-011-9237-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

  2. Accumulation of N-Acetylglucosamine Oligomers in the Plant Cell Wall Affects Plant Architecture in a Dose-Dependent and Conditional Manner1[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Vanholme, Bartel; Vanholme, Ruben; Turumtay, Halbay; Goeminne, Geert; Cesarino, Igor; Goubet, Florence; Morreel, Kris; Rencoret, Jorge; Bulone, Vincent; Hooijmaijers, Cortwa; De Rycke, Riet; Gheysen, Godelieve; Ralph, John; De Block, Marc; Meulewaeter, Frank; Boerjan, Wout

    2014-01-01

    To study the effect of short N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) oligosaccharides on the physiology of plants, N-ACETYLGLUCOSAMINYLTRANSFERASE (NodC) of Azorhizobium caulinodans was expressed in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The corresponding enzyme catalyzes the polymerization of GlcNAc and, accordingly, β-1,4-GlcNAc oligomers accumulated in the plant. A phenotype characterized by difficulties in developing an inflorescence stem was visible when plants were grown for several weeks under short-day conditions before transfer to long-day conditions. In addition, a positive correlation between the oligomer concentration and the penetrance of the phenotype was demonstrated. Although NodC overexpression lines produced less cell wall compared with wild-type plants under nonpermissive conditions, no indications were found for changes in the amount of the major cell wall polymers. The effect on the cell wall was reflected at the transcriptome level. In addition to genes encoding cell wall-modifying enzymes, a whole set of genes encoding membrane-coupled receptor-like kinases were differentially expressed upon GlcNAc accumulation, many of which encoded proteins with an extracellular Domain of Unknown Function26. Although stress-related genes were also differentially expressed, the observed response differed from that of a classical chitin response. This is in line with the fact that the produced chitin oligomers were too small to activate the chitin receptor-mediated signal cascade. Based on our observations, we propose a model in which the oligosaccharides modify the architecture of the cell wall by acting as competitors in carbohydrate-carbohydrate or carbohydrate-protein interactions, thereby affecting noncovalent interactions in the cell wall or at the interface between the cell wall and the plasma membrane. PMID:24664205

  3. Accumulation of N-acetylglucosamine oligomers in the plant cell wall affects plant architecture in a dose-dependent and conditional manner.

    PubMed

    Vanholme, Bartel; Vanholme, Ruben; Turumtay, Halbay; Goeminne, Geert; Cesarino, Igor; Goubet, Florence; Morreel, Kris; Rencoret, Jorge; Bulone, Vincent; Hooijmaijers, Cortwa; De Rycke, Riet; Gheysen, Godelieve; Ralph, John; De Block, Marc; Meulewaeter, Frank; Boerjan, Wout

    2014-05-01

    To study the effect of short N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) oligosaccharides on the physiology of plants, N-ACETYLGLUCOSAMINYLTRANSFERASE (NodC) of Azorhizobium caulinodans was expressed in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The corresponding enzyme catalyzes the polymerization of GlcNAc and, accordingly, β-1,4-GlcNAc oligomers accumulated in the plant. A phenotype characterized by difficulties in developing an inflorescence stem was visible when plants were grown for several weeks under short-day conditions before transfer to long-day conditions. In addition, a positive correlation between the oligomer concentration and the penetrance of the phenotype was demonstrated. Although NodC overexpression lines produced less cell wall compared with wild-type plants under nonpermissive conditions, no indications were found for changes in the amount of the major cell wall polymers. The effect on the cell wall was reflected at the transcriptome level. In addition to genes encoding cell wall-modifying enzymes, a whole set of genes encoding membrane-coupled receptor-like kinases were differentially expressed upon GlcNAc accumulation, many of which encoded proteins with an extracellular Domain of Unknown Function26. Although stress-related genes were also differentially expressed, the observed response differed from that of a classical chitin response. This is in line with the fact that the produced chitin oligomers were too small to activate the chitin receptor-mediated signal cascade. Based on our observations, we propose a model in which the oligosaccharides modify the architecture of the cell wall by acting as competitors in carbohydrate-carbohydrate or carbohydrate-protein interactions, thereby affecting noncovalent interactions in the cell wall or at the interface between the cell wall and the plasma membrane.

  4. Endogenous levels of polyamines in the organs of cucumber plant (Cucumis sativus) and factors affecting leaf polyamine contents.

    PubMed

    Fujihara, Shinsuke; Yoneyama, Tadakatsu

    2001-11-01

    Polyamine compositions of various organs from hydroponically cultivated cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Sharp-1) and factors affecting the leaf polyamine content were examined. Diamine putrescine was found most abundantly in the root, while a relatively large amount of spermine was detected in the reproductive organs such as the immature fruit and the calyx (+stamen). Spermidine was present at the highest level in rapidly growing tissues such as newly expanded leaf and fruit at an early developing stage, implying the possible involvement of spermidine in the growth and development of these young tissues. Polyamine content of cucumber leaves changed during the day. Especially, the putrescine content of upper leaves showed a striking decrease from the morning to the night. Alterations of leaf Ca or Mg content did not significantly affect leaf polyamine composition. On the other hand, abnormal cucumber leaves showed altered polyamine composition. Yellowing of the leaf intervein resulted in a striking decrease in spermidine content without a significant change in putrescine and spermine content. By contrast, the leaves infected with the phytopathogen, powdery mildew, showed decreased putrescine and increased spermine content in response to the degree of fungi infection. The possible usefulness of polyamines as a diagnostic marker of plant development and physiological disorder is discussed. PMID:12060288

  5. How meristem plasticity in response to soil nutrients and light affects plant growth in four Festuca grass species.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Shu-ichi; Gotoh, Minako

    2010-02-01

    Investigation of responses of meristems to environmental conditions is important for understanding the mechanisms and consequences of plant phenotypic plasticity. Here, we examined how meristem plasticity to light and soil nutrients affected leaf growth and relative growth rate (RGR) in fast- and slow-growing Festuca grass species. Activity in shoot apical meristems was measured by leaf appearance rate, and that in leaf meristems by the duration and rate of cell production, which was further divided into single cell cycle time and the number of dividing cells. Light and soil nutrients affected activity in shoot apical meristems similarly. The high nutrient supply increased the number of dividing cells, which was responsible for enhancement of cell production rate; shaded conditions extended the duration of cell production. As a result, leaf length increased under high nutrient and shaded conditions. The RGR was correlated positively with the total meristem size of the shoot under a low nutrient supply, implying inhibition of RGR by cell production under nutrient-limited conditions. Fast-growing species were more plastic for cell production rate and specific leaf area (SLA) but less plastic for RGR than slow-growing species. This study demonstrates that meristem plasticity plays key roles in characterizing environmental responses of plant species.

  6. From facilitation to competition: temperature-driven shift in dominant plant interactions affects population dynamics in seminatural grasslands.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Siri L; Töpper, Joachim P; Skarpaas, Olav; Vandvik, Vigdis; Klanderud, Kari

    2016-05-01

    Biotic interactions are often ignored in assessments of climate change impacts. However, climate-related changes in species interactions, often mediated through increased dominance of certain species or functional groups, may have important implications for how species respond to climate warming and altered precipitation patterns. We examined how a dominant plant functional group affected the population dynamics of four co-occurring forb species by experimentally removing graminoids in seminatural grasslands. Specifically, we explored how the interaction between dominants and subordinates varied with climate by replicating the removal experiment across a climate grid consisting of 12 field sites spanning broad-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in southern Norway. Biotic interactions affected population growth rates of all study species, and the net outcome of interactions between dominants and subordinates switched from facilitation to competition with increasing temperature along the temperature gradient. The impacts of competitive interactions on subordinates in the warmer sites could primarily be attributed to reduced plant survival. Whereas the response to dominant removal varied with temperature, there was no overall effect of precipitation on the balance between competition and facilitation. Our findings suggest that global warming may increase the relative importance of competitive interactions in seminatural grasslands across a wide range of precipitation levels, thereby favouring highly competitive dominant species over subordinate species. As a result, seminatural grasslands may become increasingly dependent on disturbance (i.e. traditional management such as grazing and mowing) to maintain viable populations of subordinate species and thereby biodiversity under future climates. Our study highlights the importance of population-level studies replicated under different climatic conditions for understanding the underlying mechanisms of climate

  7. The Ecohydrological Consequences of Woody Plant Encroachment: How Accessibility to Deep Soil Water Resources Affects Ecosystem Carbon and Water Exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, R. L.; Huxman, T. E.; Barron-Gafford, G.; Jenerette, D.; Young, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grassland systems, a process that has increased rapidly over the last century, has potentially broad ecohydrological consequences by affecting the way ecosystems use water and cycle carbon. This study examines the influence of precipitation- and groundwater-derived water availability by comparing eddy covariance measurements of water vapor and carbon dioxide fluxes over a riparian grassland, shrubland, and woodland, and an upland grassland site in southeastern Arizona USA. Compared to the upland grassland, the riparian sites exhibited greater net carbon uptake (NEP) and higher evapotranspiration (ET) across a longer portion of the year. Among the riparian sites, however, the grassland was less able to take advantage of the stable groundwater supply. Increasing woody plant density facilitated greater water and carbon exchange that became increasingly decoupled from incident precipitation (P). How groundwater accessibility affected NEP was more complex than ET. Respiration (Reco) costs were higher for the riparian grassland so, while it had a similar ET and gross carbon uptake (GEP) to the shrubland, its NEP was substantially less. Also, riparian grassland fluxes were much more variable due to flooding that occurred at the site, which could stimulate or inhibit NEP. Woodland NEP was largest but surprisingly similar to the less mature and dense shrubland even while having much greater GEP. Woodland NEP responded negatively to P, due to the stimulation of Reco likely due to greater amounts of aboveground and soil carbon. With many areas of the world experiencing woody plants encroachment, encroachment into areas where there are additional deep soil water sources, such as in riparian settings or in areas of deep soil moisture recharge, will likely increase carbon sequestration but at the expense of higher water use.

  8. Seasonal timing of first rain storms affects rare plant population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Levine, J.M.; McEachern, A.K.; Cowan, C.

    2011-01-01

    A major challenge in forecasting the ecological consequences of climate change is understanding the relative importance of changes to mean conditions vs. changes to discrete climatic events, such as storms, frosts, or droughts. Here we show that the first major storm of the growing season strongly influences the population dynamics of three rare and endangered annual plant species in a coastal California (USA) ecosystem. In a field experiment we used moisture barriers and water addition to manipulate the timing and temperature associated with first major rains of the season. The three focal species showed two- to fivefold variation in per capita population growth rates between the different storm treatments, comparable to variation found in a prior experiment imposing eightfold differences in season-long precipitation. Variation in germination was a major demographic driver of how two of three species responded to the first rains. For one of these species, the timing of the storm was the most critical determinant of its germination, while the other showed enhanced germination with colder storm temperatures. The role of temperature was further supported by laboratory trials showing enhanced germination in cooler treatments. Our work suggests that, because of species-specific cues for demographic transitions such as germination, changes to discrete climate events may be as, if not more, important than changes to season-long variables.

  9. Ectopic KNOX Expression Affects Plant Development by Altering Tissue Cell Polarity and Identity[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Rebocho, Alexandra B.

    2016-01-01

    Plant development involves two polarity types: tissue cell (asymmetries within cells are coordinated across tissues) and regional (identities vary spatially across tissues) polarity. Both appear altered in the barley (Hordeum vulgare) Hooded mutant, in which ectopic expression of the KNOTTED1-like Homeobox (KNOX) gene, BKn3, causes inverted polarity of differentiated hairs and ectopic flowers, in addition to wing-shaped outgrowths. These lemma-specific effects allow the spatiotemporal analysis of events following ectopic BKn3 expression, determining the relationship between KNOXs, polarity, and shape. We show that tissue cell polarity, based on localization of the auxin transporter SISTER OF PINFORMED1 (SoPIN1), dynamically reorients as ectopic BKn3 expression increases. Concurrently, ectopic expression of the auxin importer LIKE AUX1 and boundary gene NO APICAL MERISTEM is activated. The polarity of hairs reflects SoPIN1 patterns, suggesting that tissue cell polarity underpins oriented cell differentiation. Wing cell files reveal an anisotropic growth pattern, and computational modeling shows how polarity guiding growth can account for this pattern and wing emergence. The inverted ectopic flower orientation does not correlate with SoPIN1, suggesting that this form of regional polarity is not controlled by tissue cell polarity. Overall, the results suggest that KNOXs trigger different morphogenetic effects through interplay between tissue cell polarity, identity, and growth. PMID:27553356

  10. Factors affecting the uptake of 14C-labeled organic chemicals by plants from soil

    SciTech Connect

    Topp, E.; Scheunert, I.; Attar, A.; Korte, F.

    1986-04-01

    The uptake of /sup 14/C from various /sup 14/C-labeled organic chemicals from different chemical classes by barley and cress seedlings from soil was studied for 7 days in a closed aerated laboratory apparatus. Uptake by roots and by leaves via the air was determined separately. Although comparative long-term outdoor studies showed that an equilibrium is not reached within a short time period, plant concentration factors after 7 days could be correlated to some physicochemical and structural substance properties. Barley root concentration factors due to root uptake, expressed as concentration in roots d